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BBB warns of fake check scheme targeting online resellers

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — If you’ve been spending more time at home, you may have gone through your clutter and decided to sell some stuff online to earn some quick cash.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning about a check scheme that’s targeting resellers around the U.S.

“Whether you’re selling or buying, you want to make sure that you protect yourself and your money,” said Paula Fleming, the BBB’s local chief marketing and sales officer.

Here’s how it works: after you list an item online, an interested buyer says they will send you a check overnight and when the check arrives, it’s for more than the asking price.

“The buyer instructs you to deposit the check but also asks that you keep the cost of the item and transfer the remaining balance back to them,” Fleming explained.

Once a check is deposited into your account, if it later turns out to be fake and bounces, it’s you that’s liable for the money, not the person who sent it.

Fleming advised resellers to do some research before using any site to buy or sell items.

“Avoid prospective buyers who want to communicate outside of the selling platform,” she added.

Fleming also said not to accept checks or money orders as payments, and only accept payment through methods recommended by the website or application you’re using.

“Keeping all the transaction dealings on the site or an app and follow the guidelines provided by the selling platform,” she said.

Learn more about the fake check scams here or visit the BBB’s Scam Tracker to find or report a scam.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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