Local News

Apex Police Seek Alleged Advertising Scammer

Posted October 6, 2007

— Apex police were searching Friday for a woman wanted in an advertising scam. Detectives said the suspect targeted small businesses.

Apex business owners lost more than $1,700 in the fraud scheme. Investigators said there may be more victims out there.

As a relatively new business in downtown Apex, the owner of My Girlfriend's Closet was eager to spread the word about her consignment boutique. So when Kristal Hill walked in selling advertising, Lois Cozart was sold.

Hill said she was selling advertising for a take-out menu for the Peak City Grill, a restaurant many people in the small town are familiar with, Cozart said.

“I thought, what a great connection. I would love to be affiliated with Peak City Grill and their market, so I said, ‘Sure,’” Cozart said.

She wrote Hill a check for $247.

“I noticed right away that my check had cleared right away, and I thought, that’s kind of strange, because normally, you don’t go right to the bank,’” she said.

A bit suspicious, Cozart did a Google search on Hill. She found an article from the Mooresville Tribune warning businesses in that area about an advertising scam with Kristal Hill named as the main suspect.

Hill had already been charged in Greensboro and Asheboro for similar crimes.

“She never produced the take-out menu, so our assumption is she just converted the money to her own personal use,” said Apex Police Detective Joseph Best.

Five downtown businesses, including the Rusty Bucket and Laura Kelly Licensing, paid Hill hundreds of dollars for advertising that they never saw.

“You really do feel taken advantage of,” Cozart said.

Apex police said investigators in Johnston County are looking into similar cases involving Hill.


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  • peacebee Oct 7, 2007

    Wow! What a brazen scam artist she is...hope they catch her soon. Does not seem that it should be hard to catch her, but maybe I watch too much tv!

  • FragmentFour Oct 7, 2007

    So it's Sunday now - have any of these law enforcement agencies managed to find this ... hummm... lady?

  • richard2 Oct 7, 2007

    A fool and his money are soon parted...........

  • superman Oct 6, 2007

    Researching after the fact is not only poor judgment but stupid. She already paid the woman and her money was gone. Researching after the fact just confirmed the fact that she had be scammed. I guess it made her feel better than she was smart enough to know that she had been "taken". Is she still looking for adversting?

  • Sandollar Oct 6, 2007

    Some people do so much to do so little for money. When it comes to money anything goes and morals are out the window. Scum is scum. What a real education could do for some unsavory people.

  • bigredtruckman Oct 6, 2007

    I am part owner of a local restaurant and we get people coming in all of the time with various "advertising" offers. The one thing you NEVER do is write a check to any salesperson that visits your business unsolicited.

    We always thank them for coming (unless they show up during lunch which is completely stupid to do at a restaurant) and then ask for a card. We tell them that we will contact them later if we are interested. Of course, we thoroughly check on any offers we may be interested in before contacting the salesperson back.

    You'd be amazed at the number of people who don't have cards or any contact information to provide, which is always suspect in my opinion. There are a lot of scammers out there. This lady from My Girlfriend's Closet made a mistake by just forking over a check, but she did to the right thing and researched after the fact.

  • lovecarolinagutters Oct 6, 2007

    Probably something more like oxycontin habit

  • Made In USA Oct 6, 2007

    Made a wish and I already had it unknowingly! WRAL DOES have a icon on this site just for people wanted in NC. Click "Crime" and presto! Way to go WRAL!

  • BottomLine Oct 6, 2007

    Looks like the poster child for "EAT MORE BACON".

  • mudmom2 Oct 6, 2007

    oh it is really early in the am and I thought "oh no there is a new drug called "twinkie" so I read it again.....LOL...I agree....thanks for the early morning chuckle...