Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 21, 2011

Pleasanton men targeted in Internet-related scams

One involved Craigslist, the other an email fraud

by Glenn Wohltmann

A Pleasanton man was defrauded out of cash, while a second man stopped a scam in a separate Internet-related incident last week.

In one, a man who agreed to buy a $9,000 Corvette through Craigslist sent $4,500 with a promise to send the balance once he received the title for the car, a police report stated, but neither the title nor the car ever arrived. The man, who lives in the 3200 block of Cheryl Court, filed a report with police on Oct. 12. The case is under investigation and his name has been withheld.

In the second, a man who thought he was working as a mystery shopper was kept from getting bilked out of more than $775.

Ronald Johnson signed on to evaluate Western Union, under directions from Strategic Reflections, a company supposedly based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was to look at the service, efficiency and cleanliness of the store -- in this case, an outlet on Santa Rita Road.

Johnson received a money order for $975.75.

"They told me to take it to the bank and cash it and keep $200," Johnson said. "I went to the bank to cash it and the guy there was on the ball. ... That postal money order had been used before."

Johnson had been told to wire $775.75 to Frederick Smith in Atlanta, Ga.

He filed a complaint with the Pleasanton postal inspector.

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