Charlotte County men accused of scamming phone seller


PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Two men are in custody after allegedly using fake money to buy a phone, the Punta Gorda Police Department said.

Kameron Harris, 21, and Stefan Sweet, 18, were arrested Tuesday after scamming 18-year-old Mikiah Boyd out of hundreds of dollars, according to police.

Boyd was selling her pink iPhone 5C for $150 on OfferUP, an app used to sell goods. A man named “Drew” offered to purchase her phone for $160 and said he could meet Boyd at the Wal-Mart on 5001 Taylor Road, police said.

After arriving at Wal-mart, Boyd was waiting near the pharmacy entrance when she saw a green Saturn Aura pull up with Harris and Sweet inside, as well as a third passenger, according to police reports.

Harris asked her if she was selling the phone, and she said yes. When she gave him the phone, Harris gave her two $100 bills and quickly drove away. The two bills have “For movie purposes only” written on the top, police reports show.

“They didn’t look at the phone, they didn’t bother with it, they just took it and sped off,” Boyd said.

It’s unclear whether Boyd asked whether “Drew” was in the car.

This is the second time the duo has used OfferUP to find phones and use fake money to pay for them, police said.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim in an online deal:

  • Always tell a friend where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
  • Take someone with you.
  • Always bring your phone.
  • Get the money first and make sure it’s real before handing anything over.

It’s also best to meet in a public place. The Punta Gorda Police Department offers their lobby as a safe exchange zone.

Harris and Sweet are in custody facing grand theft and scheme to defraud charges. Sweet is also facing charges of violating his probation and marijuana possession.

Sweet is being held on a $9,500 bond. Harris has a $7,000 bond.

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