(CNN) – A woman in Michigan trying to buy a smartphone for her daughter got cleaned out — so to speak. Instead of a phone, the box contained bars of soap, presumably to simulate the weight of a phone.
The scam started as what the woman thought was a good faith purchase arrangement.
But when she met the seller in person and paid for the phone, she got a nasty surprise.
“We opened it, we both seen it, we were just were dumbfounded staring at it like that really just happen?” said Samantha Powell. “It was, I mean, I just wasn’t smart enough. She outsmarted me.”
Powell says she saw the phone for sale on the app ‘letgo.’ She was getting it for her 14-year-old daughter and says she had saved up for six months to buy it.
Powell and the seller agreed on the price of 450 dollars and we’re sharing messages back and forth.
She agreed to meet the seller at an apartment complex.
“Came walking out real fast and then as soon as she had that money in her hand, when we went to go open it she took off,” she said.
With just these two bars of soap in the box, Powell called police and filed a police report.
She says she later found out the seller even went on Facebook and bragged about what she had done.
“She was pretty much saying haha, thinking that she wasn’t going to get caught.”
But she may not be laughing now. Powell says the 18-year-old seller used a fake name on letgo but had provided her actual phone number for the sale. Having that number was a big clue for police. They were able to figure out who she is. She’s been ticketed and if she doesn’t show up to court a warrant will be issued for her arrest.
Police say this serves as a costly reminder of how important it is to do these transactions at the police department.
Powell was later able to buy a phone for her daughter on Craigslist.
For that purchase, she met the seller at the police department and the transaction was successful.
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