A popular Internet scam has recently been attempted on and reported by a
person who has an ad placed in the classifieds section of our web site.
Although the scam isn't new, it is the first reported case related to
For those unfamiliar with Internet scams, this is how this particular
one works: You post an ad and a person responds by phone or email saying
he/she is interested in the goods. After a few exchanges, he/she agrees
to buy your goods. The con artist sends a cheque in excess of the amount
you are asking and asks that you send a cheque for the overpayment to a
third party - for example, you want $1000 for your goods, you receive a
cheque for $5000 and youíre asked to send a cheque for $4000 to someone
else. This individual usually has an interesting and plausible story to
explain away this plan so that it sounds legitimate and safe.
Comfortable with the plan, you cash the cheque, mail out another for the
$4000 overpayment according to the directions, and you also ship your
goods as per the terms of sale. After a few days however, the bank
contacts you to say the cheque you received has not cleared or is
fraudulent. Now you are out $4000 plus the $1000 for your goods, if you
sent them without waiting for the cheque to clear.
Donít become a victim! Be aware of these scams and be extra cautious
when dealing with persons unknown to you. If you are presented with an
offer like this, or other variations on the theme, immediately call the
Fraud Unit of your local police department, provincial or state police,
or even the RCMP or FBI. These scams are most often international in
scope, so they may involve other parties in foreign countries.
A little awareness goes a long way.