3OYS: Craigslist seller targeted in money wiring scam


by LiAna Gonzales


Posted on March 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 22 at 3:45 PM

PHOENIX -- A Gilbert man trying to make a quick buck on Craigslist was almost fooled by a money wiring scam.

Tom Winter says everything comes with a price tag.

"Nothing comes free. It costs something," he said.

So when he received a $2,400 check in the mail for his wife's $200 recliner, he knew something wasn't right.

"It's close to being real but I didn't buy it," he said.

Winter posted an ad on Craigslist for the recliner and got a response from an interested buyer who said she didn't live in the area. The buyer offered to send Winter a check and said she would have a moving company ship the chair.

"And right away that put up a red flag," Winter said. "They're going to come look at the chair if they really want it."

The woman mailed the $2,400 check with instructions for depositing it and told Winter to wire the cash to the moving company.

"It looks real but if you look at the numbers on it, that's not a real account number and it's not a bank routing number or anything. It's just a bunch of numbers," Winter said.

Had he fallen for the scam, Winter would have likely been responsible for that $2,400 once the bank realized the check was fake.

He hopes sharing his story will keep other people from falling for similar scams.

"I didn't want anybody else to be caught up in this and end up with a $2,000 bill that they can't afford," he said.