Plainfield Woman Charged with Fraudulent Facebook Marketplace Purchases

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Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced that his office charged a suburban Will County woman for allegedly purchasing three vehicles via Facebook Marketplace using fake identification and fraudulent checks.

The Attorney General’s office charged Jocelyn Buster, 26, of Plainfield, in DuPage County Circuit Court with three counts of theft by deception, Class 2 felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison; three counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, Class 2 felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison; and two counts of money laundering, Class 2 felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Sentences are ultimately determined by the court. Buster pleaded not guilty, and her next court date is scheduled for May 20.

“My office is committed to identifying and holding individuals accountable whether they engage in theft or fraud in the real world or on social media,” Raoul said.

“With online sale marketplaces growing in popularity, I urge Illinois consumers to take proactive steps to protect themselves from fraud.”

Raoul’s office alleges that in June 2023, Buster contacted three Facebook users expressing interest in vehicles each user had posted for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Buster allegedly purchased all three vehicles using fake identification and paid with checks and fraudulent cashiers’ checks. After purchasing two of the vehicles, Buster is alleged to have sold them to suburban car dealerships.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Raoul reminds Illinois consumers to follow the below safety tips when purchasing or selling products using online marketplaces:

  • Meet in a safe location, during the day, and bring a friend. Many police departments have designated safe exchange zones where you can meet a buyer/seller to sell or exchange your item.
  • Don’t share unnecessary personal information or account information with the buyer or seller.
  • When using a third-party app, stay on the platform and don’t communicate or send pictures to any interested party outside the app.
  • Stick to cash. Don’t accept or make payments though peer-to-peer apps, like Venmo or Zelle, or use personal checks.
  • Don’t trust anyone willing to overpay for an item, unless the item is rare and there are multiple offers.
  • Be wary of incredible deals or deals that seem to be good to be true. If an item offered for sale seems too good to be true, it could be warning sign of a scam. Consider performing a reverse image search using Google or TinEye to find out whether an image is recycled.
  • If someone tries to scam you, report it to the online marketplace and law enforcement. You can also file a complaint on the Attorney General’s website.

Raoul’s Statewide Grand Jury Bureau is authorized by Illinois statute to prosecute multi-county cases involving drugs, money laundering, guns or electronics. Working regularly with state and federal counterparts, the bureau focuses on complex, often large-scale, organized criminal activity.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Neal Thompson is prosecuting the cases for Raoul’s Statewide Grand Jury Bureau

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