MINER - While selling things online may open up an entire group of new customers, it also puts the seller at greater risk for fraud. Two Miner residents have already learned about the dangers awaiting on the World Wide Web.
Chief Roger Moore with the Miner Police Department, reported Wednesday a second local resident uncovered an Internet scam when he became suspicious of a buyer.
According to Moore, the resident had offered a boat for sale over the Internet, setting a sale price of $7,500. Contacted by a potential buyer, the seller received a check for $12,600, with the buyer explaining the check was to be cashed with the transport person to receive the remaining $5,100.
"Fortunately, he didn't follow through when he became suspicious," said Moore. The seller contacted Miner Police who determined the check was written on a fraudulent account.
Moore said this is the second time this type of scheme was used locally.
Late last year a Miner resident was attempting to sell a four-wheeler over the Internet. In this case, the individual was asking $4,000 for the vehicle and received a check for $5,800. The seller also became suspicious, did not cash the check and contacted the police.
The police chief noted in both cases the potential buyer was from London, England. He added the checks sent to the sellers were fraudulent, stating the checks were probably created on the computer.
Moore urged individuals who decide to sell things over the Internet to be wary about accepting personal checks. "Basically I wouldn't take checks, you want something that can be backed up like a money order," he said. "And I wouldn't take a check for over the amount."
Because neither seller cashed the checks, Moore said other than a forged document, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is no crime to investigate. However, the chief explained, he was making an effort to alert the public of the scam as more people turn to online services to sell items.
"We want to let the public be aware," said Moore. "If anything similar should arise in the Sikeston-Miner area, people should contact their local law enforcement."