Craigslist buyers: Beware of scams

Detectives investigate foreclosed homes, stolen dog scams

Published On: May 08 2012 03:07:34 PM EDT   Updated On: May 08 2012 05:58:25 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The options are endless on Craigslist. You can buy a boat, a car, even a new house, often times for a great deal.

But sometimes it's too good to be true.

"There are a lot of deceitful people who post things or list things on Craigslist," Channel 4 crime analyst and safety expert Ken Jefferson said.

Detectives say Jason Abad is one of those people. They said he posed as a fake Realtor and moved people like Jae Shealey into foreclosed homes on the Westside.

"He made it sound very believable," Shealey said. "He said, 'Oh, well the owner has a lot of property. He's working down the street right now.'"

Now Shealey is out thousands of dollars and may be out of a home.

"Besides being scammed out of my money, I have now lost my job and it's hard," she said. "Any day now these people could come and knock on my door and tell me and my children to get out, and where would we go?"

The Baker County Sheriff's Office said Timothy Weathers (pictured right) is also a Craigslist crook. Investigators believe he stole a pit bull out of Jeanna Dean's backyard and posted the dog on Craigslist.

It was one of 12 purebred pit bulls gone missing in the last couple months.

"It's an easy dog to take. You can sell them," said Detective Chris Volz, of the Baker County Sheriff's Office. "In this case, the dog was listed at $200. The dog's value is probably $1,500 or $1,600."

Jefferson said people shouldn't trust those who may seem shady.

"When you have a person who's willing to meet you at a remote location to exchange money or the items, carry someone with you, have someone videotape the transaction, if at all possible," Jefferson said. "If the person becomes nervous or disagrees, don't do business with them because they may be up to no good."

If something about the transaction doesn't sit right with you, call it off, Jefferson said.

"If the person doesn't seem legitimate, follow your gut instinct. Don't do business with them," he said.

Weathers said he did not steal the pit bull, but instead rescued the dog. His lawyer is working on getting the charges dropped.