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Beware the scammers who trade on the Internet

Bonnie Simmerman • Jan 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Do you have things to sell? There are several ways you can do this. You could put an ad in the newspaper, have a yard sale and use the Internet by putting items on eBay or Craigslist. Either way, the results can be good, but you must also be very careful about scams when trying to sell by using online methods.Back in the spring, my husband decided to retire from farming and needed to sell his equipment. Our grown children mentioned that we might like to try using Craigslist to sell the items. My husband does not use the computer, but I showed him how to scan through the farm items that were posted so he could get an idea of a fair price for each piece. We took pictures of each piece of equipment, and since I was the one in the family who uses the computer, I posted them on Craigslist along with a description of each one. Within a matter of a day, we received several calls and were able to sell almost all of the items listed. We were very pleased that we sold to local people, and they seemed to be very pleased with the equipment.Since that experience was so successful, we decided we would try to sell some antique beds we no longer needed. Again, I took pictures and posted them online. I was surprised to get emails back within an hour; however, they didn’t look just right to me. Several asked if the items were still for sale. Some asked the price, even though it was posted on the site.Some said they would purchase the item, and wanted me to reply to their strange sounding email. I immediately thought these emails were scams. Six emails all in the same afternoon that looked like they were from different people seems suspicious to me.Since our farm equipment had sold so well, I thought maybe I had posted the beds incorrectly. After three or four weeks, I posted the beds again to make sure I had done it correctly. Again, within a matter of hours I received several emails like before. Two of them that were supposedly from different people said they would purchase the beds, send me money order or certified check. Can you imagine anyone paying for beds sight unseen? Another one even offered to pay $50 more than I asked for them. They also asked for me to send them my name, address and cell phone number.Of course I did not do this since I knew the emails were scams. Some people must stay awake at night trying to scam others. It is difficult to imagine how many people are caught up in the scams. Fortunately, I realized after reading the emails that they were scams. I hope that those who wish to sell things online have good luck like we did with the farm equipment. I also hope that no one is caught up in a scam that someone is using to get your information. Be careful how you shop online. Bonnie Simmerman of Jonesborough is a retired elementary school teacher.

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