BURTON (WJRT) - (02/24/17) - It seems we hear more and more about people being cheated out of their money - and it can happen in so many ways.
A Burton man sold a phone case to someone he met on Craigslist. He was paid with a $100 bill, but until he looked at it closely, he didn't realize it was counterfeit.
"He said that it didn't feel right and I think at that point he realized by looking at it closely it clearly said 'For Motion Picture Use Only,'" said Don Schreiber, a Burton Police detective.
Police were able to track down the man who passed along the fake money and he's in a lot of legal trouble, both with Genesee County authorities and the feds.
"It's at least a five year felony and that's under state law. Not to mention what the Secret Service may do federally," Schreiber said.
So where did the fake money come from? You can buy rolls of money marked 'For Motion Picture Use Only' on Ebay.
"To protect yourself, take that extra second and just take a look at it," Schreiber said.
If it seems more people are being ripped off these days, you may be right.
"Unfortunately, most people that are getting scammed are the elderly or the uninformed," Schreiber said.
The Internet has become a gateway to new schemes and devices to separate people from their money. A healthy dose of skepticism can go a long way.
"There's a lot more scams. The use of the Internet has made it possible to get scammed from across the seas," Schreiber said.
Some helpful advice from the police when completing a transaction with someone you met online or through social media: meet in a place with lots of people around, be leery about accepting a check and inspect the cash you're given.