Almost immediately, Sue Piper knew something was wrong.
Sue, who lives in Brazil, had advertised a couple of puppies she wanted to sell in The Brazil Times as well as on craigslist, an online classified website.
She received a phone call from someone interested in purchasing one of the puppies, who had witnessed her advertisement on craigslist. She then gave out her e-mail and the two parties began corresponding back and forth.
Sue was told she would receive a money order for the puppy through Federal Express.
After a few days, she received the money order.
While she was selling the puppies for $250, the money order was for more than $1,700.
Sue said the person contacted her and informed her they had "slightly" overpaid. They asked her to cash the check, take the money out and send the money back.
"I was like, 'This is not right.' There were red flags going on all over the place," Sue told The Times.
Sue immediately went to her bank and told the teller she believed something was wrong with the check.
The teller promptly told there was. The check was fraudulent.
"The bank knows," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "They've dealt with it so many times. They can tell you right there. It doesn't take long for them to figure it out."
But Sue's ordeal wasn't finished.
She received a call from the person who had sent her the money order wanting the balance. However, Sue told them she knew the money order was fraudulent and had informed authorities.
"I was running an ad for dogs and they tried to take me," she said. "When I got the check, I knew instantly that they were trying to sucker me."
Sue later received another e-mail from the person, but did not respond.
Heaton said his department receives hundreds of calls from residents regarding scams of this sort annually.
Recently, he said the department has received 15-20.
"It's sort of like the Western Union scams," Heaton said. "It's just another way these individuals prey on people. It was good that she took notice and didn't get stuck."
Heaton said typically, checks or money orders have security features on them that banks notice immediately. However, scam artists will purchase check paper in an attempt to make the checks or money orders look as real as possible.
"Any more, it's just non-stop," Heaton said of scams like this going on.
While Sue wasn't scammed in this instance, she now has second thoughts regarding shopping online.
"I'd hate for anybody to get suckered," she said. "It's just wrong."