ROCK SPRINGS — The RSPD is hoping to educate citizens on the dangers of getting scammed in online marketplaces.
According to Chief Dwane Pacheco:
The Rock Springs Police Department has been investigating multiple reports of citizens receiving fraudulent checks after selling items on classified websites and is urging citizens to be wary of suspicious checks.
Several reports have been made to the Rock Springs Police Department regarding victims who are posting a variety of items to sell on media sites such as Craigslist, Wallapop, and eBay.
In response to their posts, victims receive a check from a buyer for the item which exceeds the original asking price. In addition, the checks are accompanied by instructions to purchase a money order with the overage amount and forward it to a third party. The victims proceed to their bank to cash the fraudulent check, which cannot be immediately verified. A money order is purchased and sent to the third party while the item is sent to the buyer.
By the time the bank discovers the check is fraudulent, the excess money has already been sent to the third party, and the item may have been sent to the buyer. Each time, the loss will fall back on the victim who deposited the fraudulent check. As a result, the victims are accountable for the money sent as well as any fees and the victim cannot retrieve the item sold if it has already been shipped.
The Rock Springs Police Department is advising the public to be wary of fraud and exercise extreme caution when selling items on classified websites. For a list of ways to help prevent becoming a victim, visit the FBI’s Fraud Website.