A Vernon Hills man who used gift cards purchased online to scam on an unidentified Cook County resident has been arrested and charged with felony theft by deception, Lincolnshire Police said.
Fred Zarbin, 25, of the 1200 block of Georgetown Way, was also charged with computer fraud after bilking the victim out of $1,600, Det. John-Erik Anderson said.
Zarbin is free on bond after posting the required 10 percent of his $10,000 bond, Lake County jail officials said.
Anderson said Zarbin purchased $2,000 worth of Visa gift cards from giftcards.com and offered to sell the cards on Craig?s List to someone for $1,600.
The victim agreed to meet with Zarbin on Feb. 14 for the purchase at a Starbucks in Lincolnshire, Anderson said. At the coffee shop, the victim decided to not only have the cards tested, but used a camera phone to take a picture of Zarbin during the transaction, Anderson said.
The move proved to be a smart one because, prior to the transaction with the victim, Zarbin had written down the numbers on the gift cards, Anderson said. about 30 minutes after the transaction was completed, Zarbin used those numbers to purchase $2,000 in new gift Visa gift cards, making the ones he had just sold worthless, Anderson said.
?But, the victim was smart about it, and didn?t really trust Zarbin,? Anderson said. ?He took precautions that was needed to be taken.?
The victim filed a police report with Lincolnshire Police, and was thumbing through and comparing the camera phone picture with pictures in a lineup when the Chicago Police Department contacted him saying Zarbin was in custody, Anderson said.
?They said they had Zarbin and were calling other numbers on his phone looking for other victims,? Anderson said. ?So, he had Chicago Police contact us.?
After being charged with misdemeanors in Chicago, Zarbin was picked up at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 25 and taken to the Lincolnshire Police Station. after being processed and charged, he was taken to Lake County jail for bond court.
?He said the reason why he did it is because he got scammed himself and wanted to get even,? he said. ?So, he went about scamming someone else.?
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