The former 8-On-Your-Side reporter was a potential victim but untangled the plot and reached out to Better Call Behnken to get the word out
from: Shannon Behnken
Posted: 8/24/2021 / 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: 8/24/2021 / 6:10 PM EDT
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Retired 8 On Your Side Reporter Peter Bernard was trying to sell a piano so he reached out to eBay. One buyer was interested, but there was a catch.
Bernard asked for $ 250 for the piano. But the buyer sent a check for $ 2,750 and asked him to transfer $ 2,400 to the Venmo account of an alleged moving company that would then pick up the piano.
“If I had gone through with this, I would have lost the $ 2,400 and it would have been extremely embarrassing,” said Bernard, who untangled the plan.
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He has called Better to call Behnken to warn others not to fall for it. If someone wants to buy something that you sell online and offers to send you extra money so you can pay someone else, it is illegitimate.
The gist of the scheme is this: it can take a few days for the bank to determine that a check is bad. By then, the victim would have sent the crook real money. If the check pops up, the victim is hooked for the entire amount.
In this case, the check appeared to be from a hospital, which confirmed that the check was forged.
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The name on the envelope was a woman in Spokane, Washington. This woman, Lauren Camp, says she is a victim of identity theft and this is not the first time she has heard her name have been used in a possible system.
“Someone tried to buy something worth $ 6,000 in New Zealand,” she said.
Someone else, she said, tried to buy a $ 12,000 truck in her name.