Mac users recently banded together to put an end to the efforts of a man who allegedly stole thousands of dollars from eBay users by forging cashier’s checks for Apple hardware. The report comes from the
Chicago Tribune. (Registration required, but free.)
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Last month, University of New Orleans student Eric Smith sold Melvin Christmas his PowerBook G4 and associated hardware for $3,000 through eBay, the popular online auction service. Alas, Smith had nothing to show for his efforts after he discovered that the cashier’s check Christmas sent him was bad.
Correlating an e-mail address, cell phone number and street address with other Mac users online, Smith discovered that he wasn’t the only one allegedly taken advantage of by Christmas. Others stepped forward with details of their own, markedly similar experiences with the Chicago, Ill.-based Christmas.
Tribune reporter Christine Tatum writes that plenty of incensed Mac users stepped up to the plate with information on resources and suggestions for how to nab the perpetrator. What’s more, the FBI, Secret Service, and Chicago Police Department all shrugged off the case because it was, in their view, small change. Undaunted, Smith set up his own sting operation, according to Tatum, and arranged to have another computer sold to Christmas, this time to be delivered to the nearby community of Markham, Ill.
With the help of a sympathetic police officer in Markham, Smith arranged to have Christmas caught in the act. A search of the house turned up $10,000 in counterfeit checks and other stolen computer equipment. Authorities suspect Christmas is part of a larger theft ring, according to the report.
Smith summed it up best: “It doesn’t pay to mess around with Mac people.”