Online Scam Goes After Locals

Several weeks ago I posted an ad online to sell a couch and love seat combination. It wasn't long until several interested parties began texting, all with out of town phone numbers.

My gut told me these buyers were trying to scam me.

"In fact I see it about 3 or 4 times per week here in Bay County alone. Can you imagine what happens throughout the country," said Paul Vecker.

I wanted 250 for my old furniture. The buyer didn't bat an eye. Sure, I'll send you a check in the mail they texted.

The buyer wanted me to cash the check and wire the extra money to his mover. When the buyer's check bounced, the mover would already have my money.

"Scammers are getting very sophisticated in the way that they make checks. Bank checks, cashiers checks, they can be made to look pretty legitimate these days. But it turns out the check it not legitimate. The check does not clear and the buyer is in some trouble," said Danielle Rudd of the BBB.

Summit Movers owner Mike Caine says legitimate moving companies would never have a third party wire a payment like this.

"We go out on site. We have an on site estimate. I've never really ever had anyone say, hey this move is paid for go do it. Either it's been paid up front or not," said Mike Caine.

So the moral of the story,

"Always just trust your instincts. Remember that big fake checks or cashier's checks are a common occurrence," says Rudd.

And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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