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Craig’s List scam 11-05-09

Hawai’i Police Department
Kona Patrol
Captain Samuel Jelsma
Phone: 326-4646, Ext. 249
November 5, 2009
Report No. C09021370

Media Release

Big Island police are warning the public to exercise caution when selling items over the Internet.

A 29-year-old Kealakekua woman reported that she was selling furniture on Craig’s List. She received an offer from someone claiming to be a disabled woman from the mainland who had to conduct the transaction by e-mail.

The buyer agreed to purchase the furniture for $230. She said she would send a check for $2,452 and asked the seller to deposit the check in the bank, deduct $230 and then send back the balance via Western Union. She said she would send a male friend to Western Union to pick up the check because she couldn’t leave the house.

The seller agreed with the arrangement. After sending a check for the balance through Western Union, she learned that the original check was bogus.

The case is being investigated as a theft.

The public is advised to be suspicious of anyone who offers to purchase an item with a check above the selling price and then asks for a refund of the difference, as this is a common scam.