Big Island police are warning the public to exercise caution when selling items over the Internet.
A 29-year-old Kealakekua woman reported that she was selling furniture on Craigslist. She received an offer from someone claiming to be a disabled woman from the mainland who had to conduct the transaction by e-mail.
The buyer agreed to purchase the furniture for $230. She said she would send a check for $2,452 and asked the seller to deposit the check in the bank, deduct $230 and then send back the balance via Western Union. She said she would send a male friend to Western Union to pick up the check because she couldn’t leave the house.
The seller agreed with the arrangement. After sending a check for the balance through Western Union, she learned that the original check was bogus.
The case is being investigated as a theft.
The public is advised to be suspicious of anyone who offers to purchase an item with a check above the selling price and then asks for a refund of the difference, as this is a common scam.