SCAM ALERT: Thieves target bargain hunters on Craigslist

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Two new scams are circulating Michiana.

The first is a phone scam, claiming you have won $2.5 million from Publisher's Clearing House. As always, the thieves are requesting a fee before you can collect. In this case, the charge was $1,500. Throughout the conversation, the caller lowered the price to $395. That dramatic decrease is a red flag.

Dreama Jensen of the Better Business Bureau says another sign to listen for is any request for a wire transfer through Western Union. Jensen says you should also be cautious about phone numbers.

"As it turned out, the call came from Jamaica, another area code of '876.' Watch out for those '876' area codes. It's Jamaica calling, and when it's Jamaica calling you don't want to deal with it," said Jensen.

The second scam targets bargain hunters on Craigslist. In this situation, thieves offer lower prices for items you have searched for. The catch is the supposed seller directs you to a third-party to make the purchase.

That seller is a fake company called "Easy Yard Sale." After the "sale" is complete, you won't receive further contact from the seller or Easy Yard Sale, and tracking down your money will be difficult.

Jensen suggests following easy rules before purchasing on Craigslist.

"Always meet the seller and see the item for sale before purchasing. If you follow this one rule it will help you avoid most scams on craigslist," said Jensen.

To report a scam or learn more about existing scams, contact your local Better Business Bureau.

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