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Beware: Craigslist car seller scam

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It's considered one of the easiest and fastest ways to find a car these days.

Posts on Craigslist have replaced some of the old newspaper ads and "for sale" signs on the side of the road.

Luke Hall found his 2012 Nissan Frontier through an ad on Craigslist and it wasn't his first automobile transaction on the site.

"I've bought three and sold two," said Hall who's also a WREG employee.

He said he's never run into a problem.

The same can't be said for all consumers.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recently issued a consumer alert warning Mid-South residents that crooks were targeting car sellers on Craigslist.

The thieves used phony bank checks to pay for the cars.

The first alert came from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

It's already found 100 cases.

"We are warning consumers not to fall for this," Rutledge told WREG by phone. "These con artists often print counterfeit checks that look very real, that often times they can fool bank tellers."

If you plan to sell a car on Craigslist, be sure to speak with serious buyers over the phone, consider selling to only local buyers, don't give out your home address and schedule test drives in the middle of the day in public places.

Hall said on the day of the sale, he takes extra steps to make sure the money is good.

"If they bring cash, we have a counterfeit pen and just mark every bill," he said.

If the person has a check, Hall added, "We're going to the bank and they're going to tell me that the money is there and make sure we're clear."

Victims of this scam should first report it to the website where the ad was listed.

Rutledge also said consumers affected should file a police report and contact their attorney general's office.

Complaints should also be filed with the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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