Craigslist seller nearly scammed by fake check - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Craigslist seller nearly scammed by fake check

Posted: Updated:
completely out of the blue, Craig received a check for $2,500 sent by FedEx. completely out of the blue, Craig received a check for $2,500 sent by FedEx.
SANDUSKY, OH -

(WTOL) - Craig Rudolph has dabbled in sales, both from his home and online.

The retired Sandusky fireman uses the extra cash for weekend camping trips. Rudolph never had a problem, until a buyer expressed interest in a garden window he had listed for sale for $450 on Craigslist.com.

"I thought it was sold," Rudolph said. "I was kind of happy getting $450 for it."

A few days later and completely out of the blue, Craig received a check for $2,500 sent by FedEx.

"The check, itself, looks so real. It looks better than some I get from my employer," Rudolph said.

At first, he didn't know who it was from, but the same day, he received an e-mail from the purported buyer, directing Craig to cash the check, take his portion for the window, then send the rest by Western Union to pay a shipper. The buyer said the shipper would be in the Sandusky area picking up several purchases.

That raised a red flag for Rudolph, who says he typically doesn't deal with any shipping costs. He realized he was dealing with a scammer and refused to cash the check.

However, the scammer, like based in a foreign country, didn't give up and sent Rudolph a series of threatening emails. 

"The way he wrote it was broken English. It wasn't right, the spelling wasn't right, the punctuation wasn't right," Rudolph said. "Then he started threatening me to say if I didn't respond, he was going to call the FBI because I was scamming him."

While Rudolph caught on to the scam, fake checks can appear legitimate.

Remember, there is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire a portion of it back. Even if your bank gives you cash up-front, once it determines the check is fake, you'll be on the hook for the money.

Copyright 2011 WTOL. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow