An NBC 6 staffer almost found out the hard way that a new Craigslist ad is targeting sellers and asking them to take down ads for money that never comes.
NBC 6 staffer Sandra Nieves, posted an ad to sell furniture on the classified website. She immediately got a bite from someone who went by the name Katie Hill. The potential buyer said she couldn’t talk on the phone because she was deaf, but that she would put a check in the mail for the furniture and include an extra $50 to take down the ad that day.
A short time later, Nieves indeed received a check, but it included an extra $1,000. Hill said she would send movers and instructed Nieves to pay them with the extra money.
But, Nieves became suspicious because Hill’s return address showed she lived in Tampa. In addition, the check was from California. Nieves took the check to see if it was counterfeit and it was. That’s when Nieves turned to the Team 6 investigators to get the word out to the public.
The investigators asked Nieves to keep the correspondence up with Hill. Eventually, Hill said her movers now wanted the money wired to their headquarters in London.
“It would have been going to a fraudster,” said Chris Catania, a Wells Fargo Vice President.
He also said Nieves could have been on the hook for the total amount if she’d wired the money: $2385. Nieves is grateful she did not fall victim to the scam.
“This is right before Christmas so I would be devastated by this,” Nieves said.
For tips from Wells Fargo on how to avoid scams like this, click here.