DES MOINES — Iowans who enjoy the thrill of finding great deals at yard sales need to be wary of the potential dangers when purchasing items second-hand.

Consumer protection expert Michelle Reinen  says you should take special care with toys that might be unsafe, in addition to things like old cribs and used car seats. Reinen says, “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls products annually that could cause injury and death.”

You can look up your potential purchase in an online database at Safer Products-dot-gov to see if a recall has been issued.

For Iowans who might be planning to hold a garage sale, there’s always a risk of scammers trying to trick you. Reinen says there have been recent reports of people passing counterfeit bills at rummage sales.  “If you’re selling a $2 item and you’re handed a $100 bill, maybe that’s something you need to analyze a little more closely and see if you can get the $2 out of them, rather than being at risk with that $100 bill in your hand,” she says.

If you think you’re being scammed, Reinen says to call local law enforcement and file a report.

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