ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A resident of the 36W300 block of Ferson Creek Road in St. Charles Township reported just escaping being the victim of a fraud when he tried to sell his car online, according to Kane County Sheriff’s reports.
The resident had posted a vehicle for sale on both autotrader.com and cars.com and when a buyer contacted him, they settled on a price of $9,250, reports stated.
The buyer mailed him a check on April 24 from St. Paul, Minn., according to the U.S. Postal Service records – but when the check was received, it was $11,000.36, reports stated.
The buyer said the extra $1,750.36 was to pay for shipping the vehicle, but he had not yet received a location to send it, reports stated.
The resident became suspicious of the check because it was from SunTrust Bank in Georgia. When he called the bank, an employee confirmed the check was a fake, reports stated.
The resident is not out any money, but he wanted to make a report. The deputy called the phone number the resident had for the buyer, but no one answered, the report stated.
The fake check was entered into evidence, the report stated.
According to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information, fake check scams involve phony prize money wins, fake jobs, mystery shoppers, ad sales and others.
In a fake check scam, a check is sent for more than what is owed – sometimes for several thousand more – with instructions to wire the excess back to the sender, according to the website, www.consumer.ftc.gov.
Usually, by the time a bank realizes the check is fake, the victim has already sent the excess cash to the scammer, and then is also stuck paying the rest back to the bank, according to the website.