What to do if my friend sold a car on Craigslist and the guy who bought the car paid with a fraudulent cashier’s check?

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What to do if my friend sold a car on Craigslist and the guy who bought the car paid with a fraudulent cashier’s check?

The title has already been transferred into the new owners name. Can my friend report the car stolen? Or does he just have to file check fraud charges and sue for the car back?

Asked on October 20, 2012 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a state that allows friendly tows, I would say hire someone to tow the car as the check was fraudulent but since the individual had already placed title in his name, that may trigger criminal charges. The better route is to go immediately to the police, show the check and verification from the bank that it is fraudulent, explain the car was basically stolen (scammed) and see if the police will help get your vehicle back.  Otherwise, your friend may just need to sue but expect that to be a long battle.


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