Fake CraigsList checks causing concern

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HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KWCH) -- It was an ad like many others. It listed a lighted China cabinet with a table and six chairs for $700.

Glenn Stark and his wife hoped it would sell quickly so they could get it out of the back garage of their Haysville, Kansas home.

Their wants were answered.

A man contacted Stark, saying he'd pay full price for the set and Stark should consider it sold.

"A check was brought up and I emailed him back that I'd be OK with a cashier's check on a local bank," Stark said.

Stark said after explaining the kind of check he'd accept, he gave the man his address and they agreed they'd work out the pickup details after the check was in Stark's hands.

"He says, 'I'll let you know once I mail out the check. Take it off of Craigslist and consider it sold,'" Stark said.

A few days later, Stark got the check, but that's where the transaction stopped.

"I'm an older person, but at least I'm smart enough to figure this out. A lot of folks aren't. And you gotta just, you gotta be careful about this," he said.

When Stark got the check, he immediately noticed a few issues. First off, the check was printed on regular printer paper. It was written for nearly $2,000 which was way more than the listed price of the set. It also didn't have any watermarks as all checks are supposed to have.

Stark said he was glad he was paying attention.

Stark contacted his local district attorney's office who advised him to contact the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the fake check. He said the FTC explained to him what the scammer likely tried to do.

"The whole idea is to get me to put that in my bank and apparently, there's somehow keeping these checks from going through for a little while. Then it comes back days later and by that time, they're probably wanting me to send them the difference," Stark said.

He said if that happened, not only would he have lost the difference of the check and his listing price, but he'd also be on the hook for trying to cash a fraudulent check.

He said if the check would have had the correct amount of money, he doesn't think he would have looked twice.

He said he's lucky but doesn't think everyone will be as lucky,

"I think it's a national issue and I think that somebody needs to deal with it more aggressively because if it hit me, it can hit anybody," he said.

Always be weary of someone giving you a check, especially if they are not local. You should check for watermarks and perforation on the check. If you're still not sure, you can always take a check to your bank and ask if it is real before trying to cash it.

Read the original version of this article at kwch.com.