BARGERSVILLE — Like many of us, Mandi Hollingsworth uses Facebook Marketplace to buy items directly from people in her community.
Hollingsworth bought a stainless steel refrigerator for $650. The seller claimed it even included a warranty.
"I paid cash and everything was fine. That's why I thought this was perfect," Hollingsworth said. "
After going back-and-forth, Hollingsworth agreed to pay cash for the fridge and gave the seller an extra $40 to have it delivered.
"When the gentleman delivered the refrigerator, he said please wait an hour because of the Freon," Hollingsworth said.
At this point, Hollingsworth said she still had no reason to think anything was fishy because she had done her research. The person on Facebook Marketplace had good reviews.
"An hour and 20 minutes later, I said I'm going to go ahead and try it," she said. "I plugged in the electric cord and nothing happened."
She waited a bit long, hoping it would kick on, but then reality set in. The fridge wasn't getting cold and she had been scammed.
"About 15 minutes later, I looked at my receipt," Hollingsworth said. "There was a number provided and the lady was like, 'No, I've never delivered appliances. I've never sold appliances on the Marketplace.'"
After looking online, Hollingsworth saw at least one other person reported someone using a bogus name — Shadeland Appliances — and selling a broken refrigerator.
Considering the post with a warning about Shadeland Appliances was from 2017, there's no telling how many people who have fallen victim to the scam.
"My message is definitely do your research and don't trust everything on the Marketplace," Hollingsworth said.
She said it would be great to her money back, but she's not counting on that, so she plans to go to the police with the hope they can investigate the scam and stop it from happening to anyone else.