Internet crime gaining in popularity, locals speak out

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It's no secret internet crime is gaining in popularity.

On Tuesday, four people, including two teenagers, were arrested in connection to several aggravated armed robberies reported in Colerain Township.

You hear about it all the time. Scams and serious crimes, even murders, committed after using one of these online marketplace sites, like Craigslist.

Susie Johnson was scammed by a seller on Craigslist when she bought some Jimmy Buffet tickets to a concert last summer.

"It's always in the back of your mind, 'I hope these work.'  But, I didn't feel like I was going to be cheated," said Johnson.

The first time she bought tickets on Craigslist, everything turned out just fine. But, the second time around is a different story.

"I was on Craigslist twice.  Once it was a great experience. The second time, we went to use the tickets and they were already used," said Johnson.

She and her husband met up with the seller at a restaurant, and shelled out $100 for the pair of print-at-home paper tickets.

"He was with his family, I guess.  It was simple as, 'Here's your ticket.  Here's your money.' That's it.  'Thank you,'" said Johnson.

She was able to buy tickets at the venue, after all.  But, police say crime involving the internet is becoming more common including scams, identity theft and theft by deception. All too often, an unsuspecting customer can even become a robbery victim, or worse.

"The common goal, the common link that people are looking for is money. What ends up happening is there's times when they'll just take your money, and other times they can take your life," said Lt. Joe Macaluso of the Delhi Township Police Department.

Johnson contacted the seller who said they were working to rectify the situation. She never heard any more than that.

"Just be careful. I think that's the biggest thing. It's unfortunate that there's dishonest people out there," Johnson told FOX19.

FOX19 spoke with Colerain Township Public Information Officer James Love about their arrests.  He says this is one of the first times they've dealt with a serious Craigslist-related crime.

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