CINCINNATI - Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit Friday against a man who has been allegedly running a Craigslist scam in multiple states over several years.
Attorney General Mike DeWine says Kevin L. Hunter, of Cincinnati, failed to deliver goods he offered for sale on Craigslist, primarily automobile tires and rims.
DeWine says victims lost more than $50,000 to Hunter over seven years.
The lawsuit charges Hunter with violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act.
"It's bad enough when a consumer ends up paying for shoddy workmanship or products that don't perform as promised," said Attorney General DeWine. "But paying for something and getting nothing is outrageous."
According to the lawsuit, Hunter advertises various goods for sale and targets out-of-state consumers, saying he previously lived in the consumer's home state but recently relocated to Ohio. Sometimes he claims that his father is a delivery company employee, so shipping will be free, according to the lawsuit.
Hunter often includes a phone number and encourages potential buyers to call or text him if they are interested, but he uses prepaid cellular telephones, changing his number frequently to evade unhappy consumers and law enforcement, according to the lawsuit.
When victims are interested in buying the goods, Hunter usually asks them to pay through a wire transfer service. After receiving payment, Hunter fails to deliver the goods and purchasers generally are unable to reach Hunter again, according to the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
When buying online, Attorney General DeWine encourages consumers to check a seller's reputation and to deal with local sellers they can meet in person. Consumers always should meet in a safe, public place and bring someone with them for safety. They also should be wary if a seller requires payment via wire transfer or prepaid card, which are difficult to track once money has been sent.
A copy of the full lawsuit can be found at https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Briefing-Room/News-Releases/August-2012/Attorney-General-DeWine-Sues-Cincinnati-Man-for-Ru/Complaint-Hunter .