Fake ad promises free stuff from family's yard - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/16/10

Fake ad promises free stuff from family's yard

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – A yard sale is nothing out of the ordinary, but what if someone took your stuff because they thought you were giving it away for free? A Craigslist ad posted Monday has one Lubbock family holding on to everything in their front lawn after the ad turned their outdoor treasures into a free for all without their knowledge.

The ad uses catchy wording which is perfect if you are in the market to sell something, but the Barbosa family had no intention of getting rid of anything.

"It's ours and it's gone," says John Barbosa about his bird feeder, a skate-board, scooter and an inflatable water slide. "It's upsetting," he adds and wonders why this is happening, but on Monday he got a tip.

"I saw the ad and it said out with the old and in with the new," says Kristy Washburn who was searching on Craigslist. The savvy shopper says it's not unusual for people to list items free of charge as long as you pick them up.

"Primarily what I was interested in was the front porch swing," says Washburn. As far as she was concerned what better price then free? "It was really nice. Something didn't feel right so I wanted to make sure it was the right swing," says Washburn who knocked on Barbosa's door.

"I told her I didn't have any idea we were giving anything away," adds Barbosa who checked with his wife. He says Washburn pulled out her Phone and showed him the Craigslist ad which said he was giving anything on his porch and front yard away for free. Barbosa, who has never used Craigslist before, says it's a blessing the bargain hunter knocked on his door.

"I placed another ad letting everyone know it's a scam and hopefully to return stuff that was taken," says Washburn. Minutes after she left, Barbosa called Lubbock Police.

"It's either harassment or someone is trying to play a game and it's not funny," he adds. Signs now hang from his house windows warning people his yard is not a free shopping spot.

"It's frustration, irritated is what comes to mind or it's how I feel," says Barbosa who adds that his family is remodeling and whoever posted the ad took a detailed inventory. He believes it is someone in the neighborhood and says what was taken can be replaced.

"It's the principal and the meaning behind everything. This is our yard," says Barbosa who plans to press charges.

The ads were flagged and have been removed from the Web site.

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