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Serving Justice to the Thief Who Sold Bad Gift Cards

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Published on Oct 19, 2013

I found this guy through online classifieds. We met in a parking lot, and I called Nordstrom to make sure the cards were good. The phone system indicated that the funds were on the cards. Just to be safe, I asked for the guys ID, and took a picture of it. I then took a picture of his car and license plate.

Turns out Nordstrom would not allow me to use the cards in the store because there was a hold on the account. I imagine the hold was put in place because this loser bought the cards using a stolen credit card. The ID he showed me turned out to be the ID of a guy who had passed away the month before (the two looked very similar).

I tried to text and call him to get my money back, but he simply ignored my attempts to contact him. after a few days and continual prodding, I finally gave up and filed a police report. The police tracked him down using the license plate number I gave them and called me in for a picture lineup to see if I could identify him.

Turns out picture line ups are very difficult. They all looked so similar. I thought could be 2 of the 6 people they showed me. That wasn't enough for a positive ID, so the police weren't able to do much other than try to get him to confess, which they obviously were not able to do.

At this point, I didn't know who he really was, but the police did. They couldn't give me his information, so I had to go about searching again. I had googled his number multiple times before he disconnected it, and the only thing that would come up was the ad that he had listed for the gift cards. After the line up, I googled the number again and saw another online classified he had posted for a cell phone.

He changed his number, but initially forgot to change it on the classified website. Google crawled the webpage before he changed it on the website, so the cached webpage pulled up his old number, while the updated listing had a new number that I used to track him down.

I set up a meeting to buy the phone and recorded the outcome. I was very happy with the results.

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