Local mother scammed by Craigslist deal - KMSP-TV

Local mother scammed by Craigslist deal, buyer gave her counterfeit bills

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Carlee Field Carlee Field
(WJBK) -

Many of us have used Craigslist to make some extra cash. That's what one local mom was thinking to do when she sold her Kindle Fire to get money for her daughter's Christmas present.

But, it turns out, the buyer of the Kindle gave the mother counterfeit money. The mother took the bills to Berkley police, who say this has happened to at least two other people. Police are asking anyone who has fallen victim to this suspect's scam to contact them.

Meanwhile, they surprised the mother with a special gift from the Goodfellows organization.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the story in a report from Fox 2's Taryn Asher, or read the story below

"It's really hard, struggling, to, you know, even pay bills," says Carlee Field.

As a single mother who works part time she has had a hard time making ends meet. She wanted to give her daughter a nice Christmas so she decided to sell her old Kindle Fire on Craigslist to make some extra cash.

"I had it up there a couple of weeks and then Wednesday a man called me, and it was pretty late," she remembers.  

Field set up a safe meeting spot inside a CVS in Berkley. The man from Craigslist was waiting.

"He just grabbed the Kindle; he didn't really play with it or see if it worked at all and then handed me five 20 dollar bills," she explains.

She was happy; she made 100 bucks.

But when she went to the store to put the money on her debit card so she could buy her daughter the gift she wanted she learned 60 of those dollars were fake, counterfeit cash.

"I couldn't believe somebody would do that, you know, especially around Christmas time when people know that people are hurting," says Field.

She took the three 20 dollar bills to Berkley police who looked into it, and it turns out Carlee isn't alone. Police tracked the buyer's phone number through Craigslist and found out he has done this to at least two other people.

They are working to identify the suspect through surveillance images from inside the CVS, and we're told it should be a matter of time before they track the suspect down.

"Hopefully they catch him so it doesn't happen to more people," Field says. "They said, if they do catch him and he has the Kindle Fire, I'll get that back. But, as far as the money goes, it's just gone."

But just as Fox 2 was wrapping up the interview, an unexpected knock came at Carlee's door. It was a police officer - but not about this case.

"That is from the Goodfellows organization. That's to help out with Christmas for the kids and the family," the officer said.

He handed her an envelope containing a Target gift card for 150 dollars, which will now allow Carlee to buy that special present for her daughter so she'll have something under the tree this Christmas.

"I'm happy now, that's going to help out a lot!" she says.

Police say there may be more victims of this guy out there. If this has happened to you call the Berkley Police Department.
Phone: (248) 658-3380

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