MADISON COUNTY, Ala - It's something people do every day. They post items they're selling to online marketplaces like Craigslist. Many people do this and don't have any issues, but one local woman was almost out $230 when scammers targeted her.
Check overpayments scams target trusting people who are trying to do the right thing. A Madison County woman wants to share her story so that other people can learn from her experience.
Marti Dill posted four seats from her Chrysler Caravan on Craigslist. Soon after, someone texted her saying they were interested.
"They offered a price and said I'm going to use a cashiers check," Dill said.
They corresponded for a couple of days, but when the person on the other end of the phone was ready to mail that cashier's check, there was a problem: the check was written for more than the price they negotiated. She read the texts...
"He mistakenly wrote your name on the check that was meant for my movers and send it out to you though your name was written on the check. You are to proceed by cashing the check. When it arrives deduct your portion and the difference goes to the movers," the anonymous buyer said.
So, what's the big deal, you go to the bank, cash the check and send off the money. Well, representatives from the Better Business Bureau say that check is fake. It means you're out all the money you sent to those scammers.
"Any money they send back they'll be responsible for from the bank. They'll have to pay it back along with overdraft fees because in all cases that money is not there," North Alabama BBB President Elizabeth Garcia said.
These scams are common and come in many forms.
"It happens quite often it can happen on any marketplace not just Craigslist," Garcia said.
If Dill fell for it she would have been out $230. She hopes others can learn from her story, so they do not become victims of this scam.
The four-seat owner received messages from the scammer on her cell phone.
Garcia says scammers are using all forms of communication to contact their victims. And just because it comes from a text doesn't mean it's safe. It still could be a scam.