LaPorte County police are investigating a woman being scammed out of $2,200 she wired to buy a used car advertised on Craigslist.
Marissa Blakeman, 20, of Rolling Prairie, said she never should have trusted the seller. Police agreed, saying purchases especially for large amounts of cash should be done in person even if it means traveling a great distance.
"Never buy anything sight unseen," said LaPorte County police Maj. John Boyd.
Blakeman told police Saturday that she found a 2004 Nissan for sale in Kansas on Craigslist and began e-mail exchanges with the seller.
She followed instructions to send the funds through Western Union and was told an agent from Google Wallet would pick up the money and give it to the seller.
According to police, though, Google Wallet was never involved and when she called Western Union the man already had picked up the money.
If traveling is not possible, Boyd suggested using online payment services like PayPal, which have protections in place to safeguard against scams before releasing funds.