(WVUE) - One man responding to online ad got held up at gunpoint, and another victim unknowingly bought a box of rocks, according to Lafourche Parish investigators.
Detectives said Joecorion Price, 18, used a false name on a Facebook ad last month to rob a Mississippi man who thought he was buying a dirt bike. Officers said the victim drove to a home on Morristown Road in Raceland where Price and another man, both armed with handguns, took off with the victim's wallet.
"In this case, [Price] did have a [profile] picture, and while we didn't have enough to have a very clear picture of him, and he ultimately deleted his profile, it was enough information based on the alias that he used to track down our suspect," LPSO spokesman Sgt. Brennan Matherne said.
Matherne believes Price and the other suspect intended to rob the man and never had a dirt bike to sell.
Lafourche detectives are still trying to find the second suspect.
The issue of online scams is such a problem on the north shore that Slidell investigators proactively seek out criminals who prey on trusting customers. Detectives look for red flags such as those who refuse to share their phone numbers or meet in a public place.
"We've seen a ton of Craigslist fraud cases," Slidell Police Sgt. Daniel Seuzeneau said. "We go out on Craigslist and these other sites and look for some of the other red flags we talked about and try to do a reversal buy to where we lure the fraudulent person in to make an arrest on that person."
But even if an online buyer takes the necessary steps to not become a victim, criminals have found ways to fool those looking for a deal.
"We had a case here right outside the police department where somebody sold an iPad on Craigslist. [The victim] met at the police department thinking they were doing the right thing," Seuzeneau said. "They get the iPad box. It feels legitimate, and they leave. They open the box, and it's full of rocks."
Police also suggest meeting at a bank if you plan to exchange large amounts of money for items so buyers can view the items and go inside the bank to get money.