Motown Anchor's Daughter Spots Craiglist Scam

More often than not, Reporter have to go out and find the story.

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But, sometimes the story comes to them.

Stephen Clark of WXYZ (Detroit) tells how his daughter Sophie (pictured), a WMU undergraduate student, foiled what could have been a costly Craigslist trick after she tried to sublet her Kalamazoo residence before leaving to study in Beijing. The newscasting dad tells what happened as a warning to others:

She did what thousands of people do every day and put an ad on Craigslist.

“The first response came in less than 24 hours,” Sophie recounts.  “From a woman coming from Berlin, Germany and was showing very much an interest in the room.  So I replied back to her.” . . .

“Mary Forest” sent a check for $2,300 issued by . . . an international relocation company. She emailed instructions for Sophie to bank the check, withhold $265 for the first month's rent, then use the balance, just over $2,000 to send a Walmart Moneygram to an address in Florida.

Ding, ding ding. The collegian recognized that last bit as a warning bell.

She called the company supposedly issuing the check and learned that her suspicion was warranted. "There's no one in our organization that issued that check,” a return phone message confirmed 

"Sophie bailed out of the deal -- having lost some time, but no money," her proud papa tells viewers.

He speaks with an FBI agent who explains that when a bogus check is returned, "the bank will debit your account the original amount. So you have to pay the money back to the bank that came out of that fraudulent check.”

The WXYZ anchor's three-minute report describes Craigslist as "an increasingly easy way to get ripped off."

H/T Deadline Detroit