AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - Amherst Police say they have arrested the man who they believe was using this a "348" phone number on Craigslist to sell people bogus tickets to hockey games.
Victims would give the suspect money, believing their Buffalo Sabres tickets would be waiting at the will call window, but the tickets never existed in the first place. News 4 has learned of at least five victims who fell for the ploy.
Anthony "AJ" Dudas, 22, of Depew is charged with two misdemeanor charges, petit larceny and scheming to defraud.
Amherst Police Assistant Chief Charles Cohen said, "People were scammed. Being a misdemeanor, my guess is it would result in some type of probation and hopefully restitution for the victims."
Police tried to find Dudas at his home a few times, but finally came to ECC City Campus and arrested him during one of his classes Tuesday afternoon. He was arraigned later that night in Amherst and released on his recognizance until a court appearance next month.
What finally cracked the case was a victim who realized he had been scammed, but continued to exchange text messages with the person on the "348" phone number. The person said he was still near First Niagara Center and the victim rushed there, spotting the person he believed to be the suspect driving away and wrote down the license plate number.
The plate and make of the SUV lead Amherst Police investigators to Dudas. News 4 went to his home in Depew and a relative said the charges are unfounded, but didn't want to comment publicly.
Buffalo Police have at least two victims who were also scammed by a person with a "348" phone number. One of them had this reaction to the arrest:
"I'm happy that he's going to now pay the price for what he did," the victim said. "I'm hoping more people are going to come forward because of this broadcast."
If enough victims do come forward and the dollar amount of thefts goes above a thousand dollars, the charges against Dudas could become felonies.
If you believe you have been scammed by this man or through the "348" phone number, call your local police department and file a report.
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