On Thursday, February 12, 2015 a family of four went to Disneyland to take advantage of park hopper tickets purchased from a seller found on Craigslist. These tickets, which they paid $500.00 for, appeared to be a good deal for this family, however, they learned otherwise. When they presented their tickets to Disneyland to gain entry, the tickets turned out to be invalid. While the tickets themselves were legitimate they were not activated by the store where they were somehow obtained. Much like a store will activate a gift card, these passes required the same type of activation, and without it they are rendered useless. Unfortunately, this family ended up having to pay for passes in addition to the ones they thought they already had.
Thanks to an MVPD Crime Suppression detective — and with a bit of follow-up — the outcome resulted in the arrest of the suspect who initially sold the four tickets to the victim, and was about to sell more. The suspect, 25 year-old David Kao out of San Francisco, was charged with two counts of theft by false pretenses along with possession and transportation of marijuana for sales and transport. He was booked into the San Jose Main Jail without incident.
This is a great reminder to those who interact on Craigslist, or any other online forum to buy, sell or trade goods. There are certain best practices that exist, which Craigslist explains here. Pay close attention to the area called “Recognizing Scams.” At the police department, we often see poor grammar and spelling along with vague initial inquiries that result in negative transactions. This is often coupled with deals that seem too good to be true and wire transfers as a result of declining to meet in person. Should you find that you must meet someone in person, consider researching scams on that particular platform to educate yourself on the ins and outs of what works and what doesn’t. If you do find yourself the victim of a crime, please give us a call at 650-903-6395, or go to the Internet Crimes Complaint website.