In recent months, scammers have been targeting users of popular buying and selling sites, such as Craigslist.org and Letgo.com, with a fake check scam.

In recent months, scammers have been targeting users of popular buying and selling sites, such as Craigslist.org and Letgo.com, with a fake check scam. Learn how to recognize scams and keep yourself safe from online fraud.

The Scam
Buyers on Cragslist.org or Letgo.com will send sellers a check made out for more than the sale amount—typically for larger purchases of more than $500.

The buyer asks the seller to write a check out for the excess amount and send it back to the scammer. Unfortunately, that money is lost when the seller attempts to cash the check from the “buyer” only to have it bounce. In some cases, sellers have already sent the item to the buyer, losing the excess amount they sent back to the buyer and their item. Since June, 10 Verve members have reported being victims to this scam.

What You Should Do
These tips can help you stay safe from online scammers:

  1. Say no to out-of-state checks. org advises sellers to keep their sales local and to meet with the buyer in person to avoid scams.
  2. Too good to be true… Don’t accept checks that are written for more than the purchase amount. This is a sign that it’s time to report the suspected scam to Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  3. Double-check that check. Even cashier’s checks—and checks that appear to come from a company—can be forged. If you receive a cashier’s check, make sure the zip code on the envelope matches the zip code on the check. Another red flag is if the remitter’s name and signature are different. Read more about recognizing cashier’s check scams on wiyre.com.

How Verve Can Help
Verve tries to help members by automatically putting a seven-day hold on suspicious checks. And while it is the seller’s loss, Verve works with members to set up a payment plan or loan to help pay back the loss.

It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding 7 Cooperative Principles—to provide education, training and information to help our members stay financially fit. Verve is committed to educating our members when it comes to their finances by providing details on recent scams and ways to stay safe. Help keep your family and friends safe by sharing this information on the recent overpayment online check scam.