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Green River Community College Warns of Check Scam Targeting Craigslist Sellers

The college's international wire account was used as part of a national check fraud scam last week in which bad checks were written to sellers on Craiglist.

If you're selling something on Craigslist and received a check from Green River Community College in the last week, don't be too quick to send your product.

College officials are putting the alert out to the public that bad checks were written to Craigslist sellers across the country last week after its international wire account was used as a front for a check scam, spokesperson Katie Rose said Monday.

The scam involves a check being made to the seller using Green River's name and account number. The checks were sent using FedEx and were written for an amount above the asking price for the product advertised on Craigslist. The people who received the checks were instructed to cash the check, keep the amount for the product plus $100 for their trouble and then wire the balance to the sender.

No one was able to cash the checks because the account, primarily used to receive international wire transfers for tuition payments, does not have a checking account attached to it, Rose said.

No funds from the account were actually compromised, but the college's concern was that it appeared that Green River was writing bad checks and that some sellers might have sent their item(s) to the check writer before realizing they couldn't cash the check. "It would be a loss for them," Rose said.

Green River follows strict spending guidelines, she said, and does not make purchases off of Craigslist.

Since Thursday, Green River has received more than 30 calls from sellers in other states including Missouri, Maryland and Illinois. It wasn't clear Monday if anyone in Washington State had received such a check as officials still aren't sure how many checks were written, Rose said. It is working with Auburn Police to investigate the scam.

If you received such a check from Green River Community College, please contact the college at 253-833-9111. Officials are asking you to send the information contained on the check to pass along to investigators.

Toni Mansbridge October 15, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Interesting Craigslist article. Have you heard of the 'social selling' trend? I found this site and love to sell on it - it's sort of like an 'Ebay/Etsy of Pinterest'. It's called SellPin. http://www.SellPin.com - no listing fees and your item stays up/pinned on Pinterest until it sells.

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