Hundreds lured into online auction scam - CBS46 News

Hundreds lured into online auction scam

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Computers, sports memorabilia, designer clothing, and cars - these are just a few of the items offered for sale every day on online auction sites.

Even rare antiquities such as coins and bank notes are available.

All of these items, at one time or another, are used to lure unsuspecting victims into a scam.

"And what they were doing was selling collectible and vintage bank notes through an online auction site," said US Postal Inspector Greg Botti.

Legitimate sellers were selling those bank notes, but a con-artist was on the other end buying them.

"Some time would pass, he would say, 'I never received the items, or I only got part of the items,' initiating a process called a credit card charge back," Botti said.

Postal inspectors started tracking the case and found hundreds of victims and $120,000 in losses.

"The individual used dozens and dozens of credit cards and used various user IDs through the auction sites to mask their identity," Botti said.

Inspectors recommend if you are selling a unique item on the internet that you take a picture of the item and the serial number if there is one.

Also keep any receipts from the post office, as well as any correspondence between you and the seller.

The suspect in this case has been charged with mail fraud and is awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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