'Don't do anything with the check': Craigslist scam still circulating

Consumer alert: Craigslist scam

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It seems like there is a new scam every day, but people are still getting caught up in the old ones.

Ian Bobinac says he wanted to get rid of his 1999 Ford Taurus for $700 so he turned to Craigslist. He got an offer right away.

"We figured someone would talk us down, this guy was willing to pay, which we thought was a little high, so we went with it," said Bobinac, who works at WZZM 13.

The man’s name was Anthony and he wanted to buy the car for his, "buddy in the states." He told Bobinac he would send a check.

"He said what I'm going to do is write the check for over so you can pay the person to get it shipped," Bobinac said.

When the check arrived, Bobinac's wife opened it. It was for $1,980.00. The name on the check was also different.

It said Margaret Fernandez, "So I was like, 'don't do anything with the check until I get home.'"

Bobinac was suspicious, so he started searching "scams" on the internet.

"The article I found online had the exact same value on the check," Bobinac said.

Bobinac never cashed the check. But if he had, it likely would have cleared, at first.

"Two weeks later, the bank would call me and say, 'This was not a valid check and so now you need to pay back the full amount,'" Bobinac said.

It's a common scam on Craigslist. Unfortunately, people continue to fall for it. That's why Bobinac wanted to warn others to be careful.

"They often use numbers that are Google Voice or virtual and easy to dispose of and they just get new ones," Bobinac said.

"Anthony" continued to text Bobinac for a several days, asking what happened to his check. After going to Grand Rapids police, Bobinac says he was told to stop texting back and "Anthony" would eventually go away.

Police chose not to pursue the case because most of the time these scam artists are out of the country, the numbers aren't traceable and Bobinac didn't lose any money.

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