The con artists are targeting people throughout the United States, and a Machesney Park man nearly fell victim.
Randy Samples makes a living transporting customers in his limos, but just a few weeks ago he was the one nearly taken for a ride.
"The red flags were thrown up," says Samples.
Samples’ was trying to sell one of his limos over the Internet. It took eight months, but he finally found a buyer, or so he thought.
"At first I thought, good, I finally sold the vehicle, great," he says.
But it wouldn't be that easy. Samples got a check for $20,000, $7,000 more than the asking price. The buyer wanted samples to mail him a check for the difference.
"There were like four different names of people I was dealing with, from the buyer in Nigeria to the representative in the U.K. to the bank I was supposed to mail the money to in the Netherlands. It threw up a lot of flags. Something just didn't sound right," says Samples.
His hunch was right. After checking with his banker, Samples found out the check was bogus, but luckily it was before he learned the hard way.
"I would guess, this is a wild guess, I'm one out of ten maybe that caught it. Maybe nine others didn't," says Samples.
The Better Business Bureau has received so many complaints about this scam; they've issued a nationwide alert to all their offices, warning consumers to beware.
"Before you send money, have them send you references, names and phone numbers you can contact. Never send money until that money is in your possession," says Dennis Horton of the Better Business Bureau.
"It's a shame you can't trust anyone with a handshake and their word, like it used to be,” says Samples.
Samples' limo is still posted on the Internet. He's just waiting for an honest buyer.