Woman Involved in Internet Scam Receives Washing Machine - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Woman Involved in Internet Scam Receives Washing Machine

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WATERLOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) - A woman in northeast Jackson County is now dealing with the repercussions of being a victim of an Internet hoax, intertwined with identity theft and fraud.

33-year-old Lorrie Brooks logged online to look for love, but found trouble instead. She put an ad on Craig's List hoping to find that special someone. In December, she started talking to who she thought was Michael Jones.

"He just charmed me," said Brooks. "He was in his 40s, that he was a model from New York. He was working overseas in Nigeria."

She was skeptical at first, but he earned her trust. So much so, Brooks gave him her mailing address. "Jones" ended up sending her a card and chocolate. After that, things started to get sketchy. She felt something was wrong when he told her she'd receive something else.

"I'm like what are you sending out this time. He was like oh, not for you, it's for me and I'm sending it to a charity," Brooks remembers.

That something turned out to be a $1,000 washing machine, delivered to her about ten days ago. Police say it was bought from a Home Depot in Jackson by a man in California who had his identity stolen.

"There's a victim sitting here being had by this person," said Tom Cottrell, Chief of Police for Waterloo Township.

But the story doesn't end there. Police say a freight service paid for by Western Michigan University picked up the washing machine from her house to ship overseas. Police stopped the company before the shipment happened.

"I says you need to look into this. It looks like your accounts payable program or system has been compromised and you guys are paying the freight on who knows what stuff," said Cottrell. "This is bizarre, but it's genius bizarre, not crazy bizarre."

In another twist, police say Brooks was set to also receive a refrigerator and a flat screen TV.

She says she was surprised by the scam, but isn't heartbroken.

Police want the public and companies to be alert about this scam. They believe there may be more victims out there and are asking people to come forward if something similar has happened to them.

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