Beware of Buying/Selling Online

Here is a cautionary tale of how one, very observant Sun City Shadow Hills resident, avoided what could have been a very costly, if not illegal mistake.

I am a new resident of Sun City Shadow Hills. Recently, I placed an ad to sell furniture on the Sun City Shadow Hills website’s “Classifieds” section. I received numerous texts from a buyer who agreed to my $500 selling price.* The Buyer asked if I would accept a cashier’s check with a small excess, which, I was instructed to give to the "pick-up lady".**

The check arrived by mail in the amount of $1,989. Clearly much more than the $500 sell price. I was suspicious about this large excess.*** So, I took it to my bank, who identified the check as fraudulent. I was lucky to have discovered the scam before I lost money.

What did we learn from the above homeowner’s tale?

*First Red Flag, doesn’t everybody want to work a better deal than the asking price?”

**Here we have the Second and Third Red Flag! Who gives you MORE money than what you asked for? Also, when is the last time you bought something on Craigslist, or the like, and you sent someone ELSE to pick it up? (Not usually, unless it’s a moving/delivery company!)

***The Fourth Red Flag, a cashier’s check was actually sent through the US Mail (mail fraud), which was clearly in excess of the $500. Some of these checks look 100% real, if it weren’t for all these pesky RED FLAGS!!! I was not about to give this “pick-up” person $1,400 in CASH!

So, the moral to the story is BE AWARE of SCAM ARTISTS like the one here who is clearly trying to rid you of your hard-earned CASH! There are several different scams targeting people who use the online marketplace, whether it be OUR “Classified Section”, online “yard sales”, or Craigslist, etc

Remember the age-old adage of:


Don’t become a victim of crime. Report suspicious activity and NEVER give out your personal information over the internet!