The Portage County Sheriff's Office is warning of a potential scam using fake cashier's or certified checks to purchase vehicles, leaving the seller without the money or their property.

Detective Lt. Greg Johnson said scam artists have already made off with two cars in Summit County, one in Lorain County and recently left a Suffield resident holding a worthless check after he listed a dirtbike for sale on, the classified advertisement website.

Johnson said the main suspect is a black male who may be working with accomplices. The suspect meets sellers and hands over a check that appears authentic.

The victim "goes ahead with the transaction, only to find out the check is counterfeit when it's taken to the bank," Johnson said.

Johnson said anyone selling items online should first verify that a check is valid before completing the transaction. If they are suspicious of a transaction or a buyer, they can call the Portage County Sheriff's Office at 330-296-5100.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or