Valley Man Warns About Overpayment Scam

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A Valley man is warning others about what he believes is a scam.

John Geigle received the two MoneyGrams in the mail. Together, they totaled $997, but they were for a gas tank he was selling on craigslist for a friend for just $200. The "buyer" wanted Geigle to send back the overpayment difference of nearly $800 upfront.

That's when Geigle knew something wasn't right. Had he deposited the MoneyGrams and they turned out to be fake, he would be out almost $1,000.

Geigle said a similar situation has happened to him before, so he wanted to help his friend who owns the gas tank to avoid the same situation. Geigle said, "It feels like they're using people very badly." Geigle said, about his friend, Nora, "I didn't want this to happen to her."

The Federal Trade Commission lists these types of scams as "overpayment scams." The FTC reported that in 2013, a government fraud service distributed more than $46 million in checks to people who lost money in MoneyGram scams.

Craigslist also has a scams page on its website. It warns sellers to never accept cashier's checks, certified checks, or money orders for their transactions.

You can file a complaint online with the FTC or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.