As always, be careful when you received a check that is more than what you asked for.

A couple of times, Roy and Ellie Goodbread suspected they were being scammed. Why, they wondered, would the woman buying their Jeep off Craigslist send them $1,100 more than the settled price? And why did she trust them to wire the difference to the South Carolina shipper picking up the vehicle?

They put their fears aside when a cashier’s check arrived last month from Citibank with what appeared to be legitimate watermarks and a perforated tear line. Plus, they really needed the money. The Concord couple have been living on Ellie Goodbread’s state paycheck since Roy Goodbread was laid off last January.

The Goodbreads should have trusted their instincts.

The $2,600 cashier’s check was a fake, albeit a convincing fake.

The couple didn’t find out, though, until their bank account was overdrawn by $2,600. The nearly $1,100 they had wired to the supposed shipper was their own money. So was the cash from the Jeep “sale,” which they used to buy groceries and other necessities they had gone without.

“We’ve kind of written (the money) off,” Ellie Goodbread said, even though their account is still overdrawn. “Our thing now is to educate others. In this economy, there are a lot of people who are going to fall for this because they need the money.”

This is what we can make of story:

1) They asked for $1,500 for the jeep, but received $2,600 instead. ($1,100 extra)

2) They banked in the check and were told by the scammer to wire out $1,100 to a shipper.

3) They used the $1,500 to buy groceries, etc, and wire out the $1,100.

4) Bank called to say the check is fake, so they need to return the money: $1,500 + $1,100.