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Craigslist scam targets Baxter, central Iowa

Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 12:01 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 12:56 p.m. CST

According to reports from one Baxter woman, scammers may be using Craigslist to target residents in Central Iowa, specifically Baxter.

She reported using the popular online marketplace to place an ad for a $100 item for which she received a $3,000 check. The sender instructed her to keep $100 and to wire $2,900 to another bank account via Western Union after claiming to be leaving for Canada soon.

During the transaction, much of her personal information, including address and phone number, were disclosed to the fraudulent seller.

She explained that a nearly identical offer and payment had been made to a friend of hers, who also had listed items for sale on Craigslist. Similar scams have recently been reported in Des Moines and around Central Iowa.

Craigslist warns against scams of this sort on its website, where it advises users to never wire money via Western Union, Moneygram, or any similar wire service. Additionally, it explains that false checks are common and that those depositing them will be held accountable when the fake is discovered by the bank.

Those who suspect they may have fallen victim to a similar situation are encouraged to contact local law enforcement.

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