Check sent from online buyer is bogus

BLISS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A woman looking to make some extra money nearly lost a bundle when a check she received from a buyer of an item she was selling on Craigslist turned out to be bogus.

Anne Ernle lives in the Southtowns is facing a large amount of medical bills, and is selling off her valuable, including her daughter’s prom dress.

Ernle went all out for her daughter’s prom dress, but her daughter is all grown up now and Ernle decided to sell it on Craigslist for $850.

Ernle’s nephew, John Grabowski, said, “I was thinking it was a pretty quick sale, because it was only out for one night, and she sounded legit.”

Grabowski got a text on his cell phone almost immediately after the post went live on Craigslist from someone named “Linda,” a deaf woman in British Columbia, Canada, saying she wanted to get the dress as a surprise for a relative.

“Linda” sent a check for $3,500 through priority mail to cover the $850 for the dress and instructed Ernle to wire the rest of the money through Western Union to someone in Tennessee to cover the cost of picking up the dress.

“I asked why so much? Why was she sending so much? She said the balance will be due to my movers, upon picking up the dress,” Grabowski said.

That was a huge red flag for the Tops associates handling Western Union business at the store in Arcade.

Sarah Fox said, “They wanted to send a large amount of money through Western Union. Normally when we get large amounts like that we ask a lot of questions because there’s a lot of fraud out there, especially through Western Union.”

Fox and a co-worker Sue Dreier advised Ernle to hold off wiring the money to Tennessee, which ended up saving Ernle and her family a cart full of grief because a few days later, that check for $3,500 bounced.

“I’m just glad they did not spend the money, and that they are not out it, and there are no problems for them. So as long as the family is happy, I am happy,” Fox said.

Ernle is not completely out of the woods, though. The bank has frozen her checking account and she is responsible for checks that bounced when that check for $3,500 turned out to be no good. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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