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Cell Phone Picture Leads Police To Alleged Scam Artist

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iPhone 4 (Ian Gavan/ Getty Images)

iPhone 4 (Ian Gavan/ Getty Images)

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LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (CBS) — A cell phone picture helped police in Lincolnshire catch an alleged scammer.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, as police tell it, Fred Zarbin, 25, of Vernon Hills, got the idea for the alleged scam when he was scammed himself.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports


Zarbin was offering gift cards with $2,000 on Craigslist for a discount. A meeting was set up with a buyer at a coffee shop in the 200 block of Parkway Drive in Lincolnshire.

The buyer, who told the Lake County News-Sun he thought he was being careful, went ahead and bought the gift cards. The victim bought a cup of coffee with one of the cards, and then had the clerk run the cards and found out they were valid and had deposits of $500.

But police said Zarbin used the card numbers after the sale to buy more gift cards, emptying the cards he had just sold.

The alleged victim snapped a cell phone picture of Zarbin during the coffeehouse meeting, and that helped police identify the suspect.

Zarbin was ultimately busted by Chicago Police as he ran another alleged scam. They reached the coffeehouse victim using contacts on Zarbin’s cell phone.

Zarbin was charged with computer fraud and felony theft by deception by Lincolnshire police and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office.

The Lake County News-Sun contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

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