Online classifieds site Craigslist is a great place to score deals on everything from furniture to clothing and everything in between, but there can be a dark side to online marketplaces.

The Iowa City Police Department is warning Iowa residents that there is a new Craigslist scam occurring where so-called "buyers" use fake checks to scam sellers.

The buyer will write the check amount for more than the item's purchase price, then ask the seller to wire transfer the difference using the excuse that the buyer needs to pay for shipping costs. When this happens, the fake check will bounce and the seller is held responsible.

The police department cautions that you should always be careful when purchasing something from an online marketplace, and never use wire transfers. Online payment services like Paypal are a much safer bet.

Although most of these particular Craigslist fraud incidents have occurred in the Iowa City area, it's possible that the scam could spread to the Quad Cities and beyond. With sites like Craigslist, it's easy to get excited by what appears to be a responsive buyer, especially if you're desperate to get rid of an item.

Check out more information about the scams and how you can protect yourself here.

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