Man tells Cleveland police he was given counterfeit money in exchange for computer

Man tells Cleveland police he was given counterfeit money in exchange for computer
Scam victim (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO)- A computer sale on Facebook went horribly wrong. The seller told 19 News he was given $400 in counterfeit money.

Man tells Cleveland police he was given counterfeit money in exchange for computer

Jacob O’Keefe says something is telling him he’s not the only person who’s been scammed by this suspect.

O’Keefe said, “Gerome Velez, I think is the fake name he used. It just seems like kind of an elderly gentleman who wasn’t quite sure or understanding of tech that just wanted to get a Macintosh for his nephew.”

For a week, the two had been messaging back and forth about buying O’Keefe’s iMac for $400. The person claiming to be the buyer’s uncle even suggested meeting at a place where there are cameras.

He asked O’Keefe to put the iMac in a box because his nephew would be walking.

On the morning of the exchange, behind Woburn and Pearl, the red flags started.

O’Keefe said, “I was going to access the guys profile to message him some more and it was just gone just completely deleted.”

Minutes after being handed $400 dollars in all $20 bills, O’Keefe knew they felt different and looked a little different. In my head, I was thinking, ‘There’s no way. When am I ever going to find counterfeit money?’”

O’Keefe went on to say, “I noticed it was all the same serial number.”

Fortunately, there is a bank close by where O’Keefe confirmed he was handed counterfeit money.

When O’Keefe went back to confront that person, he was still there waiting for the bus. O’Keefe was able to snap a picture of him.

There was no box and no computer.

“He just kept kind of deflecting my questions a little bit,” said O’Keefe.

O’Keefe says the person walked away pretending to go get the computer and never came back.

“If I saw him, I would just be like, ‘Why?’ Counterfeit money is an extremely big deal, legally. Why go through this risk?,” said O’Keefe.

O’Keefe called Cleveland police right away. They went to the scene to take the fake money. They’re still investigating.

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