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Zoey_JD
Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23601
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I was scamed on Craigslist involving the purchase of a bobcat

Customer Question

I was scamed on Craigslist involving the purchase of a bobcat in the amount of $1,800.00
Can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, Do you know who and where your seller really is? Finding her or him will be the hardest part of getting your money back. Most of these pet scans of Ron from out of the country, and out of the reach of your loss. Also, they use for any identifying information so that even law-enforcement has difficulty finding your perpetrator. What can you tell me about the seller?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can find the Scammer on Craigslist doing the same thing ... She He They offer a Bobcat or Skid Steer on craigslist for a excellent price ... I responded and was told that HE placed the ad on Craigslist for a friend in a western state and he gave me her phone number ... I called her and she told me she and sold it to a person in the Winchester KY area and had paid the shipping on it to to Winchester but had not shipped because he did not get the money to her so it was now for sale again and the shipping would be free to me she had all ready paid for the shipping. She went on to tell me that her father had died some months ago and that she was trying to settle the estate and that If I could get her the $1,800.00 she would ship it to me at my address and that I could have a week to check it out but she must have the money prior to shipping ... she went on to say that a friend told her that Amazon had a system that we could use that would protect both of us ... It was called the Amazon Buyers Protection Plan and I would need to purchase $1,800.00 in Amazon Gift Cards and eMail them (the numbers) to Amazon and Amazon would hold the money for her until I inspected and approved the Bobcat. I went to Kroger (a grocery store chain) and purchased 4 Gift Cards (I still have them) of $450.00 each on my Visa Credit Card. I was then contacted by Amazon (several times) and sent Amazon the Card information via eMail. I never received the Bobcat and emailed her several times and she responded 2 times saying that the Bobcat was being shipped then she never responded again. After some time I knew it was a scam and begin to check Craigslist and spotted the same Bobcat again and again and then other Skid Loaders in other close states and one in Cincinnati and Contacted the Ohio Attorney General about it. I never got a response from Ohio. I have tried to contact Craigslist but have had no response to emails and can find no phon contat number that is Human. That my story. What can I do. Tom Given Cell = 859 / 536 -3160
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the detailed reply.

 

There is no bobcat. Amazon protection only extends to items purchased on Amazon. You never heard from the real Amazon. This entire scenario is a fraud. Craigslist, unfortunately is notorious fr this kind of scam, though it's the first time I've seen it used for an animal. Usually it's a vehicle. A high ticket item at a too good to be true price, a means of payment that is untraceable and which and also offers you no possibility of buyer protection, a phony Amazon "agent," a trial period to look the purchase over with a bogus guarantee.

 

Pet scams are the specialty of the Cameroons, but this looks as if it just may be home grown because it does not follow the typical formula. You need to report this to your police and to the FBI at IC3.gov. That's their internet crime complaint center. If this person is still advertising on Craigslist the authorities may be able to stop him as they may be able to set up some kind of a sting. The state also has subpoena power and can force CraigsList to reveal the identity and contact information of the scammer. Once he or she has been brought to justice, you can sue him or have him prosecuted and get the return of your money.

 

I won't lie to you. Most of these kinds of scams are run by professional thieves who know perfectly well how to make themselves invisible. The contact information your scammer gave Craigslist may be entirely false. Craigslist doesn't verify its members and a thief would be a fool to use his correct name and address to run a scam when he doesn't have to. But leaving this in the hands of the authorities, or hiring a private investigator is about the only possible way to turn this person up.

 

I realize that's not what you want to hear, but it's the reality of scam in the computer age. I can give you one piece of good news, however. When you are the victim of a crime, your unreimbursed losses are tax deductible. So you would have an $1,800 deduction when you file your 2015 income tax. That's not all you deserve, but should the worst case scenario result and the authorities come up empty, it's certainly better than nothing.