BELSALEM, Pa. - A Bensalem man claims he was scammed out of over $2,000. He is warning the public so others don't fall victim to similar schemes.
This water cooler that once sat in the office of his father-in-law could be of value to someone thought 72-year-old Frank Goldstein of Bensalem. So he posted it on eBay in the spring and quickly got a bite.
He tossed some other office items into the deal and settled for a price of $650 in a sale that would occur apart from eBay. He says a cashier's check from the out-of-state buyer arrived for $2,650.
"I believe I did my homework, checked this guy, checked online, and no complaints about him. He asked I send a check for $1,900, another cashiers check to his moving company," Goldstein FOX 29.
To move the heavy water cooler. Goldstein says he deposited the $2,600 buyer’s check at a Wells Fargo branch in Bensalem and waited for it to clear.
"I checked online it did clear the next day so I was comfortable sending a $1,900 cashier's check back although it was questionable," he said.
The buyer even sent him what he claims is a picture of himself holding up his driver's license.
Later, Goldstein got some bad news from Wells Fargo.
"I get a notice from them that check is no good and they are withdrawing $2,650 from my account," Goldstein said.
However, the alleged scammer wasn’t done. Goldstein received another cashier's check from the buyer this time for $3,500. Instead of taking it to the bank, he went to the Bensalem police where a detective learned the name of the buyer is that of a victim of identity theft.
Goldstein contacted the Montana bank where the $3,500 check was cut.
"The young lady I spoke to said, “oh my, the FBI and Secret Service are here right now and we have lots of checks," Goldstein added.
Goldstein has a beef with the Wells Fargo, which he says should not clear cashier's checks until it knows they’re fully backed.
He wants to warn the public about scammers.
"These are part of scams taking place expanded in their scope as a result of COVID-19," he said.
Wells Fargo released the following statement to FOX 29:
"While we can't comment on a specific customer situation due to customer privacy and confidentiality, we want to make sure customers are aware of scams in which fraudsters may ask them to cash or deposit a bad check—even an apparent cashier’s check—on their behalf and transfer the funds to their account before the check is returned unpaid by the paying bank. The individual who is cashing or depositing the check is responsible for funds withdrawn if the check is returned unpaid. The customer also will be charged a fee for the deposited check returned unpaid. It's important to know that funds availability does not mean a check has “cleared.” It may take up to 10 business days for a check to be discovered as counterfeit (or longer if the check has been altered) and returned unpaid. We encourage customers to contact us with any questions."
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