Friend got scammed on craigslist. Gets revenge
Heard this story from a friend (Jon) this weekend.
Jon posted 2 wristbands on craigslist for $1500 and he gets a venmo scam pulled on him. Basically they paid him in venmo and then disputed the payment the day after they get the wristbands. Jon files a claim with venmo and they tell him tough shit because it violates their terms of service. He tries calling the scammers number back but of course its a burner phone so its long gone.
Jon's friend was also trying to sell his wristbands at the same time. Jon tells him to forward any email leads to see if he comes across the same email address or account. Sure enough the same fake name pops up on one of the email addresses. They tried to bite on the lead but something happened where the burner number already wasn't working or something.
So Jon keeps posting Craigslist ads all week as bait advertising that he prefers to get paid in venmo. Finally he gets an email from the same fake name. Jon goes and buys a burner phone of his own to engage them. They agree to meet at the next day at the pier in a beach town. As they did the first time around they venmo the money a day ahead of time "in good faith" to reserve the wristbands. Jon had them send the money to his friends account and of course the same profile picture pops of the guys who scammed him the first time.
Jon strolls down to the police department with his evidence (email account names matching, venmo profile picture matching) and explains the situation. He pitched them on the sting operation he has set up for the next day. He could tell the first time the scammers were unarmed so its a relatively safe sting and because stealing $1500 is a felony they take him seriously. And what the fuck else better do they have to do in the beach towns.
They send 4 squad cars to post up. They explain that Jon won't be able to see where they're hiding out but they be able to see him and he can text them with updates. Jon gets a call from the scammers (taller guy who is the ring leader and his smaller coward sidekick). Jon tells them he's inside one of the nearby restaurants eating but meet him at his black car in front of the restaurant and he'll come out. Jon was really posted up a few cars away so he wouldn't be in the middle when the cops swooped in. Just then he gets a text from the cops that they have an actual emergency to go to and they can no longer help with the sting.
Jon hangs up but isn't defeated. He's a badass so he starts googling how to make a citizens arrest. He talks to the security guard at one of the bars to give him a heads up but they're pretty useless in a situation like this. Unless the scammers are armed and shit is going down then they wouldn't help him out but he agreed to keep an eye on the situation.
The scammers walk up to the meeting point. Jon comes up to them and grabs the taller guy by the shirt and starts talking shit to him. They're playing dumb but the smaller guy definitely recognizes Jon and starts coming clean. Jon gives them the ultimatum: give me the $1500 back or I call the cops. They're not budging so Jon tells them they're under citizens arrest and calls the cops. At this point Jon has the tall guy by the arm and he's trying to shake free so Jon goes behind him and bear hugs him. I'm not entirely sure why they didn't just gang up on Jon to shake free and run but it sounds like the smaller guy was a bit of a coward.
Jon keeps the tall guy in his bear hug for a good 20 minutes until the cops show up with guns drawn. He releases the tall guy who takes off with a couple cops chasing him. The small guy puts his hands up and they signal for Jon to move away.
They caught both guys. The taller guy had several wristbands in his backpack, lots of cash and lots of credit cards they bought of the darkweb to set up the venmo accounts. They'll be charged with some felonies and are pretty fucked.
TL;DR: Friend gets scammed on craigslist. Sets up a sting operation to enact revenge which ends in a citizens arrest.