By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago fashion designer’s Instagram pages have more than 20,000 followers – even images of celebrities wearing jackets they claim to have designed.

But several customers said that fashion designer took their money and never got them the clothes they bought. They told CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas they want answers.

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Nyasa Henry ordered a jacket that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for her sister, Africa Brown.

“Well, online my sister Africa had been following him for a few years prior, and the jacket was kind of expensive, so I kind of saved up for this particular year for that gift for her,” Henry said.

The jacket cost $400, which Henry sent via Cash App in early November 2020. The payment recipient was an Instagram-savvy fashion designer who works under the name Chicago Playground.

Henry and Brown said it all seemed legitimate, because Chicago Playground boasts online of their supposed celebrity connections and didn’t appear to have any negative reviews.

“He’s hawking these pages to where if you say anything negative, it’s like you’re deleted so fast,” Henry said. “It’s just a runaround. I’ve recently sent another message to him as of two or three days ago, and still nothing.”

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Chicago Playground has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau because of strikingly similar complaints over the past year and a half.

An out of state cheerleading group took to YouTube in late 2019, saying they paid Chicago Playground more than $2,100 for jackets they never got.

“Chicago Playground – he played us for 12 varsity jackets, and we want our money back,” the coach of the team said in the video.

We tried emails, Instagram messages, and phone calls over the past week, but Chicago Playground hasn’t gotten back to us. They did block one of our producers, though. Brown said they blocked one of her pages too.

“I just really want people to know the truth. That’s my biggest thing; to know,” Brown said, “and then just have an informed choice to make if you deal with this guy.”

They’ve given up on the jacket. Now they just want a refund.

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Experts say you should only use payment apps such as Cash App and Zelle with trusted friends or family.

Tim McNicholas