On Your Side: Sell stuff online? Know about this scam

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Scammers are not on vacation this summer. Make sure you know about this trick the next time you try to sell something online. A man from Springfield could have lost more than $2,000.

Mike Sexton bought a vintage accordion to sell it. He put it on eBay. He got a bite.

“He wanted to send me a check,” said Sexton. “I said that would be okay, but it would have to be a cashier’s check. When I got the check, my bank would have to have plenty of time to ensure it had cleared. He said that would be okay,” said Sexton.

The buyer meant business. He sent the tracking info.

“The red flags started real quick. I’ve done this a lot. This is not my first rodeo. He was going to include a small fee for the movers when they’d come to pick it up. That was a little strange,” said Sexton.

The small fee was an extra few hundred bucks, making nearly $2,000. Sexton was instructed to cash the check ASAP and send money to the so-called movers.

“This is B.S. I never had a second thought. I was born at night, but not last night. I’m old, but not that old,” he said.

The swindler wants the seller to transfer hundreds immediately before the seller realizes this is a bad check. The account is in Virginia. The bank is in Illinois.

Sexton says he’ll eventually block the number. He’s just glad he didn’t miss a beat and lose hundreds.

Red flags for this scam

Look for grammatical errors and sob stories. Crooks will often give you a made-up explanation of why they need you to send money. They often say it’s for the movers.

Do the math. It’s usually cheaper to ship it.

Watch out for payment above the asking price. It’s not your lucky day. No one pays more than they have to.

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