Craigslist scam alert -

Craigslist scam alert

Craig Rudolph has been selling items over the internet for a while, but he was thrown for a loop by a buyer interested in a garden window he was selling.

"I thought it was sold, I was kinda happy," said Rudolph.

Craig received a check for $2,500 via FedEx - more than five times his asking price for the window.

Then Craig got an e-mail from the buyer directing him to take out his portion of the money before sending $1,900 by Western Union to pay a shipper.  That's when Craig knew the check was fake and that he would be on the hook for any money cashed.

Even though internet scams are common, there are ways you can protect yourself - especially if you are selling goods.

1. Don't put any identifying information in an ad. That includes your phone number since reverse-look up directories can provide a wealth of information.

2. If the internet site you're advertising on doesn't provide an e-mail, create a disposable email account.  Do not use your personal internet address.

3. If possible, deal locally with folks you can meet in person. And meet at a public place.

4. Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service

5. Accept only cash, or if that's impossible, use a payment service like PayPal.

Always remember, if anything seems too good to be true, it probably is - so trust your instincts.

And if you do become the victim of a scam, make sure you report it to the police.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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