"On March 8, 2014 at approximately 10:23 pm, we had a situation where a gentleman came into the Pearl Walmart. He picked up approximately $1,600 he received through money gram. He was able to obtain that money by advertising a vehicle on Craigslist," says Pearl Police Detective Jake Windham.
But the one thing missing, Detective Windham tells us, was the vehicle. A woman in Ohio had wired the money for a Toyota Corolla, but it was a scam.
"At this point she knew she had been had, she knew she had been victim of a wire fraud situation," he says.
Craigslist is a terrific website site for buying and selling across the globe. But criminals know that some consumers aren't careful, and get too tempted by a steal of a deal. Police say the Pearl Walmart offender shrewdly hid his face from the surveillance camera inside the money transfer store. It's possible he's done this before, Detective Windham tells us.
"He even went so far as to park his vehicle in an area of the parking lot at Walmart where he could not be detected, we could not get tag information," he says.
The phone that the offender used to communicate with the woman from out of state can be tracked, but police aren't sure if it will lead them to the individual, because they say all of the subscription information linked to the phone might be bogus as well.
If you want to use Craigslist, experts recommend you shop locally, not out of state. Also, pay with cash rather than wire transfer, because they're not protected. Finally, make sure you see the product in person before committing to the purchase.