Scottsburg teen charged in Craigslist scam

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - A 19-year-old man from Scottsburg, Indiana was arrested early Friday and charged with two counts of felony theft after an investigation by the Scott County Police Department based on complaints from two people who said he didn't ship merchandise he advertised for sale on the site after he was paid.

According to a statement from Scott County Police, Quinn was charged with running an internet "scam" through the use of Craigslist, where he allegedly offered a PlayStation 3 for sale under the pseudonym "fireball_hottie" and convinced at least two people to mail him cash for the PS3 which he promised to ship upon receipt. Quinn never actually had a PS3 to sell, never shipped anything to the would-be purchasers and pocketed the cash.

Investigation by the Scottsburg Police Department and the Scott County Prosecutors Office identified two victims out of the dozens who had communicated with Quinn on-line regarding his alleged sale. Both victims were from distant states.

Police are continuing to investigate to determine if there may be additional victims of this scam.

Quinn is being held in the Scott County Jail. His bond is set at $15,000 corporate surety or $1,500 cash. He was due in court on May 2.

The Scott County Prosecutor's Office offers the following advice to help protect the public from similar schemes:

  1. Be wary of sellers posting on Craigslist outside of their region.

  2. Be wary of sellers who offer excuses why they can't use services such as PayPal or other more secure manners of transaction.

  3. Safeguard your personal information, account numbers, credit card numbers, DOB, SSN, home address, etc.

  4. When possible, conduct transactions IN PERSON, with a FRIEND, and for CASH in a PUBLIC PLACE. Don't meet a seller alone or at your residence.

  5. Don't cross state lines to conduct the transaction. If you do, any criminal or civil case you may file will have to be brought in the county and state where the transaction took place.

  6. Resist accepting checks. They can be counterfeit. If accepting payment by check.

  7. Be wary of sellers willing to greatly reduce their price in an effort to "close" the deal, or sellers willing to accept half the payment up front.

  8. Be wary of sellers who offer to "hold" an item for you until you can come up with the money.

  9. 9. If a deal is too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS!!! If something doesn't feel right, there's probably something wrong.

  10. 10. IF YOU FIND YOURSELF TO BE A VICTIM OF AN INTERNET SCAM, although these can sometimes be difficult cases to solve or pursue, you should always: report it to the service provider(s) who facilitated the transaction. (Craigslist, EBay, PayPal, etc); if banks or credit card providers are involved, report it to them; report it to law enforcement in your jurisdiction; report it to law enforcement in the jurisdiction of the other party; INSIST that law enforcement make a report.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.