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Oklahoma City Man Warns of Craigslist Scam

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Elvis Velez says he was scammed by a man claiming he was selling something on Craigslist. Elvis Velez says he was scammed by a man claiming he was selling something on Craigslist.
Velez said after he withdrew $900 out of an ATM at 7-11, the man in the car taking him to get the TV he promised, demanded the money and took off without him. Velez said after he withdrew $900 out of an ATM at 7-11, the man in the car taking him to get the TV he promised, demanded the money and took off without him.

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City man has a warning for other Oklahomans using Craigslist, claiming he was robbed while trying to buy a TV off the popular classifieds Web site.

Elvis Velez, 27, admits he simply let his guard down and was too trusting. He's now determined to help others, but he also wants the robber caught.

Cooking out is a Saturday night tradition for Velez and his neighbors. While out cooking, Velez says he was approached by a guy who said he knew someone who lived there.

"He says, 'I've got a TV,' I said, 'Funny, I was looking for a TV on Craigslist, too at the same time,'" Velez said.

Velez says the suspect offered to show him the TV with a price tag of $900. But, on the way over, they stopped at a 7-11 to get cash. They were in the suspect's vehicle leaving the store when Velez was caught off guard.

"He put a gun right here to my neck, that's it," said Velez. "'Give me the money right here, right now.' Are you kidding me, are you for real?"

Velez was dropped off in a nearby neighborhood with his $900 gone. But he's also missing something else, the trust he'd gained in people after moving to Oklahoma from Miami, Florida a year ago.

"Every person I've met in Oklahoma has been trusting, has been nice," said Velez. "So much different here than in Miami, Florida. So, I never thought it would happen here. I guess crime happens everywhere."

Velez says he feared for his life, but made sure he got a good description of the suspect.

He says he was a black male in his mid 20s with a "9" and a "zero" tattooed on his face. He also had the name "Yolanda" tattooed on his neck and was driving a black Yukon.

According to Velez, he's never had any problems with Craigslist, but in the future he'll never be alone when exchanging money or goods.

Police are pretty confident they know the identity of the suspect. But if you have any information about him, call Crimestoppers at 235-7300.

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