Scammed While Christmas Shopping On Craigslist

December 22, 2009

One family in West University Place will have a very sad story about Christmas shopping this year.

A woman visited the West U. Police Station on Dec. 17 to report she had lost nearly $800 to an Internet scam. She said she tried to buy a large, wooden outdoor playground set after seeing an advertisement for the toy on Craigslist.

“Apparently they didn’t take the same payment most people do,” said West U. Lt. Charlie Deily. The seller asked the woman to purchase a Green Dot – MoneyPak card, which allows people to load cash onto the card and then use it as a credit card. The woman gave the seller the MoneyPak card number and the seller withdrew $775.

But the seller never delivered the play set. The woman went online and found the person had removed the Craigslist advertisement.

“Be very leery about ordering anything on the Internet,” Deily said. “If it’s one of those too-good-to-be-true things, it probably is.”

Craigslist recommends several precautions to ensure users do not become the victims of fraud. For example, the site suggests only dealing with local people who will meet in person, and never wiring money or providing financial information. People should also meet in public places, inform friends and family where they are going and possibly take a friend to the meeting, the site says.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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