South Plains Man Trying To Track Online Scam Artist - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/13/07

South Plains Man Trying To Track Online Scam Artist

He was the target of an online scam, and now one South Plains man is trying to turn the tables on the con-artist. 

NewsChannel 11 Storm Chaser David Drummond alerted us to this scheme.  When Drummond isn't chasing severe weather, he runs an online business, so when he became the target of an online scam, Drummond decided to fight back.

"This kind of stuff makes the legitimate people doing business online look bad," Drummond said.  

Drummond decided to sell his old Saturn, so being a frequent Internet user, he posted an ad online.  He received a response soon after.

"He tells me he's from Florida," Drummond said. 

Drummond found the distance odd, because the car doesn't run.  His add clearly states it's more for parts, but the buyer still wanted to make a deal.

"I guess it was about two weeks, I get this check, through UPS. It came Next Day Air, and it was from a New York address, not the Florida address he said," Drummond said. 

Also strange, the check was for $4,500.  That's 3,900 more than the asking price. 

Drummond contacted the buyer through email, asking what's up?

"He wants me to cash the check, keep my money out, and send the balance to this guy that's supposed to be the shipper," Drummond said. 

Now, Drummond knew someone was trying to take him, so he decided to fight back.

"I'm tired of seeing this stuff go on. I thought I could maybe take one of them down," Drummond said. 

He hasn't cashed the check; instead he's using it to get more information from the buyer.

"I haven't got his phone yet. I asked for it. I'm trying to get his contact information so when I turn all this over to law enforcement, they can catch the guy. You have to assume he's sent out lots of these. If he's contacted thousands of people, even if only three or four of them respond, that's profitable for him," Drummond said. 

There are several red flags to watch for with online deals.  First, check to see if the "bill to" and "ship to" address match.

Second, if you're emailed from a free email account, like Yahoo or Hotmail, make them send you more information before completing the deal, and if the buyer doesn't care about price, that could mean they're trying to scam.

For more information about how to protect yourself from a scam, click here.

NewsChannel 11 will let folks know what happens with Drummond's case.

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