It’s an internet scam that even Des Moines police say is “Slimy”. A Des Moines couple is using Craigslist to ask for donations, then apparently selling those same donations on the site for money.
As Iowans, we like to help out. It’s just in our nature to lend a helping hand when we see someone in need, even a complete stranger. But what happens when that kindness is taken advantage of?
We found several ads on Craigslist for a couple that “Needs a bed desperately..thank you and God bless.” and are “In need of small couch or loveseat”…explaining they have “little income.”
So we searched their phone number on Craigslist and found they are selling about two dozen items…including beds and chairs..the same items they were asking for in other posts.
We took our hidden camera to their home on Wall Avenue, pretending to be interested in a television for sale. Once inside, we confronted them with this apparent scam. “We’re actually doing a story…I’m Aaron I’m with Channel 13 News.” reporter Aaron Brilbeck revealed, “We saw your Craigslist posting and that’s why we’re doing a story on you and hoping you can explain this to us. Because it’s very confusing that you’re asking for help here, asking for end tables, asking for a small couch or loveseat.”
That’s when the couple decided they’ve had enough and kicked us out.
The woman later came out to explain that they run this scam because they’re poor, and they’re not the only ones doing it.
Police say, what they’re doing may not be against the law. “I would say it’s bordering on fraud.” says Sgt. Steve Woody, “It may not be illegal, but it’s right on the edge. It’s pretty slimy.”