TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Retired 8 On Your Side Reporter Peter Bernard is trying to sell a piano, so he turned to eBay. A buyer was interested, but there was a catch.
Bernard asked for $250 for the piano. But the buyer sent a check for $2,750 and asked him to send $2,400 to the Venmo account of a supposed mover who would then pick up the piano.
“If I had followed through with this, I would have been out the $2,400 and it would have been extremely embarrassing,” said Bernard, who unraveled the scheme.
He called Better Call Behnken to help warn others to not fall for it. If someone want to buy something you’re selling online and they offer to send you extra money so you can pay someone else, it’s not legit.
The crux of the scheme is this: it can take a few days for the bank to figure out a check isn’t good. By then, the victim would have sent real money to the crook. When the check bounces, the victim is on the hook for the entire amount.
In this case, the check appeared to come from a hospital that confirmed the check was fake.
The name on the envelope was a woman in Spokane, Washington. That woman, Lauren Camp, says she’s an identity theft victim and this isn’t the first time she’s heard that her name was used in a potential scheme.
“Somebody was trying to buy $6,000 worth of something in New Zealand,” she said.
Someone else, she said, tried to to buy a $12,000 truck using her name.