Twice in eight days, Darien residents were scammed out of the money they sent to people purporting to be sellers on Craigslist, Darien police said. The incidents appear to be unrelated.
In one case, reported to police on July 26, a woman sent $300 to someone selling concert tickets. In the other, a man sent $3,400 for first month’s rent and a security deposit. Both scammers said they came from the Washington, D.C. area.
The woman said she made contact with the seller that morning. To assure the victim that the seller was who he said he was, he provided her with a picture he claimed was of him holding a District of Columbia driver’s license, a second picture of him holding a degree from Duke University and a third of a Wells Fargo Bank card with the same name on it.
The woman agreed to buy two tickets. When she was hesitant about making the $300 purchase through Apple Pay, the scammer said he was a lawyer, and the woman could do a Google.com search of him at his law firm. He also sent her a picture of what he said was a Ticketmaster receipt for the tickets.
The woman agreed to send the money through Apple Pay. When she did so, the scammer sent her an image of what he said was a receipt from Apple that indicated the transaction didn’t go through. He asked her to try again.
The woman’s Apple Pay account showed the outgoing payment. She contacted Apple, and an employee there told her that the receipt she had been given was fake.
She contacted the suspect again, and he tried to get her to send more money through another payment platform. She refused.
Contact was made with the person connected with the pictures she’d been sent and who was the lawyer named by the scammer. (Police didn’t say whether it was the woman or police who contacted that person.) That lawyer said information about his identity had been stolen.
Contact was made with Ticketmaster (police didn’t say whether they or the victim called Ticketmaster), and an employee there “confirmed that the receipt was legitimate, but that the purchaser had canceled the transaction three hours later,” police said.
Incident # 2019-010160 Blotter Date/Time 08/02/2019 1016hrs Location: 10 Saddle Ridge Rd.
A man who was looking to rent an apartment in the Washington, D.C. area found an offer on Craigslist that looked good and contacted the person listed as the owner, who said he was “Mark Dunigan.”
The man said he was managing the apartment for the owner. He asked the Darien man to transfer $3,400 for the first month’s rent and the security deposit. The transfer was made, and the listing was changed to “pending” on Craigslist.
The Darien man again contacted “Mark Dunigan” to get more details about moving in. But “Dunigan” gave him little or no information, just indicating he would meet the Darien man at the apartment on Aug. 3.
The Darien man became suspicious.
Researching the address, the Darien man contacted the listed owner directly. He found that the apartment had been sold, and there was no one by the name of “Mark Dunigan” who had ever worked for the owner.