JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A scam alert for anyone selling online.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says scammers are cheating people out of their money by using fake payments and bogus refund requests to trick people.
Here’s how they do it -- they typically insist on paying through a mobile app, and even though it might look like they paid you, it takes several days for that money to actually make it into your account. By the time the payment “bounces,” you’ve typically already sent the scammer the item.
A similar tactic involves fake checks.
Scammers may offer to give you a check for more than the selling price. They tell you to deposit the check and send the difference back to them.
Again, even though it looks like the deposit is in your account, it takes weeks for the bank to figure out if the check is fake. By then -- the scammer has the item you sold them, the money you sent back, and the bank has to pull the fake check out of your account and will probably charge you for the bounced check too.
The FTC says you should never deposit a check that is more than your selling price. Also, don’t accept a mobile payment from someone you don’t know.
The FTC recommends selling to a local buyer that you can meet in person and only accept cash payments.