The Bottom Line: Craigslist Cash-Out
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 12:55 PM EDT
NISKAYUNA -- They can be a hotbed for suspected scams: Crooks looking to cash in, on online auction sites.
But sometimes the bad guys switch up their scheme, so that others don't catch on to the con.
US Postal Inspector, Tom Ouelette says, "If you're not careful when you buy on online auction sites or other sites, you can easily be duped from your money."
In one particular case, the item in question was an elliptical machine. The seller posted a picture of the item on Craigslist. The price? $1,500.
"Sure enough to the seller's delight, she got a response," Ouelette says. "What she didn't expect was the buyer sent her $2,500 - basically $1,000 more than the asking price."
But the money order the buyer sent was counterfeit. The con man was hoping to trick the seller into wiring back the overpayment from her bank account, before the bank realized the money order was worthless.
"The entire transaction was bogus. The buyer never had any intention of buying anything. The intent was to get the seller to wire transfer the money."
Ouelette went on to say, "Consumers need to be aware that whenever you are selling something on an online auction site and you get a payment for more than what you asked for - it's probably a scam."
Fortunately in this case, the victim contacted Postal Inspectors and lost no money in the deal.
The Bottom Line from CBS 6's Dori Marlin?
Experts tell her if you receive any money order or cashier's check in online transaction, that could be a red flag - so you should call the company first to make sure it's valid.