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Craigslist sellers handed fake cash

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Cash sales through an Internet advertising website didn’t turn out to be as lucrative as two Spotsylvania County men initially thought, police said.

The residents both contacted the Fredericksburg Police Department Thursday after learning that items they sold through Craigslist had been paid for with counterfeit bills, city police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

The first sale actually occurred on Dec. 30, police said. The victim reported that he arranged to meet a buyer in Central Park to sell a PlayStation 4 for more than $400. The buyer paid with what turned out to be phony $20 bills, and the victim took the money home and put it in his safe.

Bledsoe said the man’s wife got the money out of the safe Thursday and went shopping at Target in Central Park. When she tried to pay for her items, she was told that the bills were counterfeit. She then paid for her items by other means and informed her husband what had happened.

The second sale took place Thursday in the Westwood Shopping Center in the 2000 block of Plank Road. The seller had advertised a television and found a buyer willing to purchase it for $400. The buyer, described only as an unknown black male, paid cash for the television and left.

After arriving home, the victim discovered that only one of the four $100 bills was legitimate. He contacted the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office and was referred to city police because the transaction occurred in Fredericksburg.

Bledsoe said that in both cases, the counterfeits were of a high enough quality that it would have been difficult for most residents to recognize them as fake.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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