Local News

Police: Victims get box of rocks in Fayetteville Craigslist scam

Posted February 9, 2016

— Fayetteville police are seeking information and suspects in a scam surrounding items advertised on Craigslist.

Police said that the scam involves an advertisement for electronic items at a “good price.” The suspects meet the potential buyers in the parking lot of a local retail store to make the exchange of money and items and the victims are given what appears to be a factory sealed box.

Authorities said that when the box is opened, the victims find it filled with rocks or other material that made the package appear to be an appropriate weight.

One suspect is described as a black man in his 20s who is about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build. Authorities said the man has used the name Ree Johnson on more than one occasion. A second suspect was described as a stocky man who drives a black Mercedes-Benz with a paper license plate that had no visible numbers.

Anybody with information or who may have been a victim of the scam is asked to call Fayetteville police at 910-433-1856.


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  • Janet Ghumri Feb 12, 2016
    user avatar

    Not even 'Pet Rocks' either, I bet! The crooks could've at least glued on some googly eyes and painted on a smile, then it wouldn't be a total loss.
    On the other hand, that would be worse. .... opening up a box of grinning rocks would really look like a taunt. ..

  • Brandon White Feb 10, 2016
    user avatar

    The "bad guys," are destroying Craigslist. I still use it, but you have to be vigilant.

  • Nathaniel Hopkins Feb 10, 2016
    user avatar

    i've been looking for a box of rocks to buy. seriously.

  • Roger Way Feb 10, 2016
    user avatar

    You can't cheat an honest man. Greed and the desire to gain something for nothing exposes our vulnerability to the grifter and conman.

  • Janet Ghumri Feb 9, 2016
    user avatar

    WOW! This same scam was prevalent in NYC years ago.

    We were all warned not to buy ANY THING off the streets, because scammers would look for tourists and approach them with electronics that were boxed, wrapped and sealed.
    The story was that they worked on the docks, or drove a truck for the company. They would even tell you that it was 'stolen', and that's why it was so cheap!
    That was back in the early 1980's! They were selling VCR's, stereo systems and those big old Boom Boxes. We saw groups of these criminals lugging those big boxes down the streets. They made the items look legit, but that was way back then. I'm surprised that it's still being used! Never, Never buy something like this without opening the box! Guess this would qualify as "Old School" in the criminal world!

  • Mark Fogel Feb 9, 2016
    user avatar

    i have to agree, how can someone be that stupid to buy something off craigslist and not open the box before you exchange money, common sense.

  • Norman Lewis Feb 9, 2016
    user avatar

    No one should be so ignorant as to buy something from an individual out of their car sight unseen. Common sense should tell you to look at the item before handing over the money.