Post Content

Over the past week, the Consumer Hotline has received two complaints about a scam on Craigslist where buyers are scamming sellers out of money and their personal information.

Callers reported being scammed when trying to sell an item on Craigslist. Online buyers would offer to buy the seller’s item and then send them a check for way too much money—two  or three times the correct amount. They then followed up with a letter saying “Oops, I sent too much money! I need you to write me a check back to cover the difference.” The problem is the original check they wrote was fraudulent and they now have the seller’s money and personal information.

The Office of Consumer Affairs advises victims of this scam to contact law enforcement and U.S. Postal Inspectors (1-877-876-2455) to report what happened. The OCA also offers some preventative tips and advice on how to avoid scams like this:

  • Consumers must understand that as sellers on Craigslist, they are under no obligation to put themselves in a vulnerable position where they are giving away personal information.
  • It is fine for sellers to refuse strange requests that could compromise their own financial security.
  • Sellers on craigslist should be skeptical of any requests for a check, bank account information, or any other extra steps that are not part of a normal transaction.

Sellers should always feel free to say no, and know that they can contact The Office of Consumer Affairs if they aren’t sure what to do. The Consumer Hotline can be reached at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757.

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Doc Fee Audit posted on Jun 22

Doc Fee Audit

  “Doc fees,” short for “documentation or documentary fees,” are fees that may be charged by a car dealership as part of a motor vehicle sale. They are neither required nor prohibited by Massachusetts state law. What’s the scoop on doc fees? Doc fees generally   …Continue Reading Doc Fee Audit

Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter posted on Jun 20

Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter

  Earlier this month, a federal court in Illinois ordered penalties totaling $280 million against Dish Network as a result of litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and the   …Continue Reading Why Dish Network’s Do Not Call List Violations Matter

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse posted on Jun 15

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

  It is estimated that five million elders are exploited each year in the U.S, costing them $36.5 billion annually. Yet, studies show that only 1 in 14 cases are reported to the authorities. As a group, the elderly control a large amount of the   …Continue Reading Preventing Elder Financial Abuse