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Middleton woman warns of fake check scam after selling items online | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) – A woman from Middleton is warning others of a scam she nearly fell for while selling items online.

The seller, who asked to remain anonymous, says she posted a listing for a squish mellow toy on Facebook Marketplace.

A buyer said she was interested and sent her money well-over the asking price.

“I got the overnight mail and opened it up. There was a check for a thousand dollars over my asking price,” said the seller.

She says she felt uncomfortable that amount of money was what a simple toy was valued.

“I don’t feel right depositing this,” the seller told the buyer. “I will deposit it and then give you the refund.”

The seller said the buyer kept coming up with excuses not to meet in person to pick up the toy and receive her money back. “It was always something to do with ‘my daughter’s wedding’ or ‘I’m out of town,’” said the seller.

She went ahead and tried to cash the check through mobile deposit. Luckily, her bank caught the scam and informed her it was fake.

The Better Business Bureau says scams like these are common with online listings.

“Not only are you out your item that you’ve shipped or given away, you’re also out the funds from the bounced check,” said Tiffany Bernhardt Schultz, the Regional Director for the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.

The biggest red flag for this scam is a buyer giving you way more than you initially asked or offering you money to hold the item for them.

“If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Schultz. “So that’s something that you want to watch for too. If somebody is willing to be more for an item, something that’s just a household item, that seems kind of strange.”

Schultz says every person needs to stay vigilant when selling things online.

“There’s a lot of legitimate buyers out there, but you need to be really careful,” said Schultz.

To read the tips the BBB has for selling items online, click HERE.

To report a scam to the BBB, click HERE.

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