We've told you about this kind of scam before, but it bears repeating because the crooks are working overtime.
It doesn't matter if you're selling puppies and kittens... a car... or a couch and appliances.
You could receive a prompt money order for more money than you requested... and be asked to wire the leftover cash.
That happened to Jim Wisniewski of Fountain. He says, "He gives me two, $850 money orders for a $500 washer... that you can just go to Best Buy or wherever ... and pick up for $800 brand new!"
Wisniewski listed his two year old stackable washer/dryer in the Thrifty Nickel. He was overnighted two money orders amounting to $1,200 more than his asking price. Jim was supposed to wire the 12-hundred bucks to another man in California for shipping.
Wisniewski adds... "I'm like... why do you want to ship a washer and dryer, a used washer and dryer?"
Wisniewski's money orders were supposedly sent by a Ritch Lawlor in Warren, Ohio. But I found Ritch Lawlor... who happens to work for the Tribune Chronicle. He says he never sent the money orders... but he heard from the same guy Wisniewski did when he listed his bed for sale on his newspaper's website.
Lawlor says, "The amount was so over the top you know... asking $100 for a bed and then receiving $1,700... something is just wrong there."
Lawlor told me he too was overnighted money orders... but they were supposedly sent from Pamela Redd in Colorado Springs. So we tracked down Pamela Redd and guess what... she too had listed something for sale in the Thrifty Nickel, a $175 couch. For that she received $2,550 worth of money orders. Her husband points out neither his wife, nor Rich, nor Jim were scammed, but the "for sale scheme" is a good one.
Redd says, "Most of the time they feel that you want to get rid of it and you'll go through any process as long as it's reasonable."
All three sellers were first contacted by a telephone operator who was relaying messages over a system used by the hearing impaired. The reason... we believe... to disguise the identity and location of the suspect because later contact was mostly email.
In all three cases... the money orders looked real, but were fake. If the sellers had cashed them and wired the leftover funds... they would've lost thousands.
We contacted the California Attorney General's office as well as officials with Yahoo and they're investigating.
The bottom line... don't be greedy. Using common sense will steer you clear of the crooks.