After one person in the city lost thousands to a scammer and another one nearly lost hundreds, citizens are reminded to be extremely careful with these transactions.
The BNPD shares the details in the following news release:
The Benton Police Department would like to warn citizen's about the potential dangers of online buying and selling. Two reports were recently taken where suspects attempted to scam people out of money involving the online sale site Craigslist.
In one of the incidents the seller was attempting to sell clothing on Craigslist and was contacted by a potential 'buyer' about their item. The 'buyer' agreed to send the seller a check in the mail and when the seller received it she noticed the check was for $1,920, although the dress was only $300. The 'buyer' asked her to keep the $300 for the dress and send the rest back to them, but thankfully the seller took the time to check with her bank about the check.
It turned out the bank account the check was written from had insufficient funds which would have caused the seller to be responsible for the money. After the seller contacted the suspect, the suspect became very angry and threatened them. No further contact has been made between them and attempts to locate the suspect are under investigation.
In another similar case, a seller posted a vehicle for sale on Craigslist for $2,000. He was contacted by a 'buyer' who agreed to buy the vehicle and sent him a check for $7,000 and told him to keep the $2,000 and put the rest on Money Pack cards. The seller deposited the check and after placing $5,000 on the cards he sent the suspect the activation cards. The seller was notified by his bank a few days later that the checks were fraudulent and that his account was $5,000 in the negative. Attempts to make contact with the suspect have been unsuccessful and are under investigation.
With incidents like these, we would like to warn our community about the possible dangers and pitfalls of using online sites such as Craigslist or EBay. Although they can be extremely helpful to many people, you should use caution when using them. The old adage is true in cases like these, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't." Go with your instinct in these cases and if you have any doubts about their legitimacy then please contact the police department about it.
Anyone with information about these crimes is encouraged to contact the Benton Police Department at 778-1171 or 315-TIPS. Individuals also may send an anonymous tip to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to www.crimereports.com and submit a tip there.