Fraudsters perusing local online buy and sells, RCMP warn

Looking at selling that used barbecue or like-new clothing online?

If you are, take heed — fraudsters are scamming local residents who are selling their goods online, Fort St. John RCMP warned today.

In a release, the police say the scam works like this: the buyer will send the seller a cheque for more than the seller has asked for the item. The buyer asks the seller to cash the cheque, wait until it “clears,” and to then send the extra money back to the buyer.

The cheque clears the seller’s account, but then bounces after the seller has sent back the extra money. According to RCMP, many people are unaware that a cheque “clearing” their bank does not mean it is legitimate.

“Only accept cheques for the exact amount of the item you are selling,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie in a release. “This is the only way to assure that you will not lose funds.”

Police believe the people involved in the scam live in another province. RCMP continue to investigate.

Anyone with information is asked to call 250-787-8100.

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