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Craigslist sale too good to be true, warning to others

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ST. AMANT - There's a warning to watch out for online scams, especially ahead of the holidays. One man says his Craigslist ad produced a result that was too good to be true.

John Ballard called 2 On Your Side to help others avoid becoming a victim. He put his son's skateboard half pipe on Craigslist but there were red flags when someone tried to buy it for a lot more than he was asking for.

Ballard put it up for sale for $2,000 and got a response from someone in Indianapolis.

"They told me to take it off Craigslist and they were going to send me a check," he said.

Ballard corresponded with a person identified as Karen Mason. That person send Ballard a check for $3,800 and explained part of it was for the half pipe and the other was for shipping an handling costs. Ballard says he was suspicious.

"You don't send somebody $3,800 when all they're asking for is $2,000," he said.

Ballard says at first glance, the check looks legitimate but a closer look uncovered discrepancies, including a computerized signature. After emailing back and forth, Ballard says he was asked by the buyer to let them know as soon as the check was deposited.

He even got a call from the person he was corresponding with. The person in the voicemail said, "I want to know if you put the check in the bank and when the cash will be available for withdrawal."

Ballard called the National Bank of Indianapolis, the name of the bank on the check, which told him the funds in the account were insufficient.

WBRZ also called the bank. The National Bank of Indianapolis says it has gotten multiple calls about fake checks and confirms it's investigating.

Ballard says he sent a final email to the buyer explaining what the bank said but never heard back. He warns others to pay attention to the details.

"With the holidays coming up and everything like that, you know, this can happen to anybody," he said.

If you think you are a victim of a scam, contact the police.

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