Reports of Scams Up In Grand Island

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Authorities say scammers are hitting parts of Central Nebraska hard.

Grand Island Police Officer Butch Hurst says he's taking more reports of scams, Including one from Trenna Edwards, who was almost a victim. It started when she tried to sell her son's truck on the internet trading site CraigsList.

"I put the truck on and I got an immediate response saying, 'Yeah, I'm interested. I'll buy your truck,'" she said.

Edwards says she was suspect when the buyer didn't ask to see pictures of the truck, but she didn't know she was being scammed until her bank clued her in.

"Normally if the check comes to you with a business on it that it's a fraud. It's a scam," she said of her bank's advice. "And, I was only asking $600 for the check was made out for $2950."

Edwards was told to send the extra money back. Instead, she went to police.

"I think we're seeing just a very small percentage of people that are actually receiving them," said Hurst. He says many people either throw the check away because they know it's a scam or are too embarrassed to report that they were a victim.

According to the Nebraska Attorney General's Office, this CraigsList scam is not new. They say they've been getting about a call a month on the scams since the site went up.

Hurst says other scams hitting the area - like one demanding money to bail a relative out of jail, another simply sending you a check and asking you to send a money order back - have one thing in common.

"All these are fraud and you're not going to know this for approximately seven to 10 days when the bank contacts you [because the check bounced]," he said.

Hurst says catching the scammer or getting your money back is rare.

Even though she didn't end up a victim, it's not what Edwards and her son want to hear.

"He's pretty heartbroken and I'm pretty upset," she said. "Beware of people that are doing this."

Hurst says if you think you've been scammed, save emails, letters, or checks.

"If there's a deadline on any of this stuff that's the biggest red flag," he said

Hurst says contact the Nebraska Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-727-6432 with those scams.

"People that can least afford it seems to be the ones that are really being taken," he said.

The Aurora Police Department is also reporting counterfeit money being passed at local businesses .

Police say the $100 bill was an exceptionally good counterfeit - had the strip in it and even passed the marker test - but it was faded beyond what it should have been.

If you run into this, police are urging you to not accept the bill and try and get a license plate # or any info and pass along to the police.

For more tips on how to protect yourself, click on the link below.