N. Idaho man nearly loses $4,300 to Craigslist scammer

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by COLE HEATH & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 8:35 PM

RATHDRUM, Idaho--A North Idaho man trying to sell his snowmobile online found out a potential buyer is really an alleged scammer.
 
Quick-thinking helped the Rathdrum man avoid getting ripped off, but it turns out this con could have victims nationwide.

Donald West is selling his Polaris snowmobile.  When he posted an ad for it on Craigslist, he got a response about 20 minutes later with someone offering full price to buy it, no questions asked.

The potential buyer sent West a series of e-mails expressing his interest in the snowmobile.  The buyer even Fed-Ex’d West a check in the mail.  As it turns out, the check was fake.

There’s even more to the fake check.  It’s written for $4,300 more than the asking price to pay for shipping.

Here’s how the con supposedly works.  West would cash the check, and then send that extra money to a specific shipper, but the shipper doesn’t exist.  By the time West would’ve realized the check was fake, he’d be out the $4,300 sent to that fake shipper.

Investigators across the country are aware of this type of scam, but federal officials can’t get involved until a certain dollar amount is met with the bogus checks.

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