Andre Callegari of Chicago unloaded some TVs on Craigslist, but got a wad of counterfeit cash in return. Then he set up another sale with the buyer in a sting operation, and the seller actually came back, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The cops caught the bad guy, who paid Callegari some of what he owed him, but that’s probably all the victim thinks he’ll recover.
The story says Callegari’s situation is far from an anomaly, other than the aspect of the counterfeiter being dumb enough to try the same scam twice on the same person. Counterfeit money continues to pump through the economy:
It’s a situation that’s on the rise, Secret Service spokeswoman Kristina Schmidt said.
“You have these new areas and methods to pass counterfeit (bills) that are driven by the Internet economy,” she said. “Instead of someone going to the store … there are these different avenues.”
On the other hand, there isn’t a general increase in counterfeiting, she said.
In Tinley Park, there have been eight reported cases of someone paying with fake money this year, police records show.
It’s a crime that never really goes away, Tinley Park police Cmdr. Pat McCain said.
And Callegari, who is living with his wife and 9-month-old son at his brother’s house, is still reeling from getting scammed earlier this month.
“Eight-hundred dollars might not seem like a lot, but it is when you’re struggling,” he said.
The same thing happened to my friend when he sold a car to an old lady through Craigslist. Possibly unknowingly, she slipped him a fake $100 bill in a stack of legitimate Benjamins. He ended up spending the bill anyway, unaware he got away with a federal offense.