Scam Artists target local classifieds - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Scam Artists target local classifieds

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August 16, 2006

Valdosta - When Tammie Mitchell placed a classified add in the newspaper for her 900 dollar TV and entertainment center, she quickly received feedback.

Many of these were relay calls.  "One guy said he was going to email me, he had just moved to the states and he had a boss here that would send me a check," Mitchell said.

When the check came in, it was for 2,200 pounds. That equates to a little over four thousand dollars.  "You could actually go and buy this TV and Entertainment Center for less than that. And that's one of the reason's we knew something was wrong," Mitchell exclaimed.

They ignored this buyer and went on to the next.  "We ended up getting a cashiers check in the mail. I called the bank on it, the number didn't work. I looked it up on the Internet to get the bank's number and the lady did say it was counterfeit."

The third check she received was counterfeit as well. All three checks were at least two thousand dollars over Tammie's asking price.  Although she didn't fall for the scams, she's worried other people might.  "I think we have a lot of elderly people who do put their stuff out for sale and their not going to catch it. And a lot of people sell their stuff for money. Here, they're going to be out money."

The Valdosta police department encourages anyone with a similar situation to let them know and question anything that offers you money.  "What we're asking people to do is be skeptical. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is," said Captain Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department.

Police also recommend that if dealing with a check from an unknown person, wait until the check clears before sending out any merchandise purchased.

As for Tammie, she finally was able to sell her TV to a local buyer.

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