Valley mother robbed by OfferUp seller

PHOENIX - A Valley mom is sharing her story after getting robbed by a man she says she met on the online marketplace app OfferUp.

Tabitha Taylor met the man with the profile name "Lyric" while browsing for an iPhone. She said he offered to give her a good deal. She described him as being "very nice" in their first transaction at a nearby gas station.

"He was very put together. Almost professional, dressed very nice, had a nice car," Taylor described.

During the conversation, Taylor admits, she may have shared a little too much about herself with the man. It was while thanking him for cutting the price of the phone almost in half. Taylor said she just wanted him to know how appreciative she was.

"I shared with him I was a single mother. I had just moved to Arizona recently and was starting over," said Taylor.

The next day, Taylor said the man reached out to her again, saying he knew someone that might be interested in buying her older model phone, and he could get her almost $450 for it.

Taylor, who was struggling financially, jumped at the opportunity. She says the man picked her up, and despite her better judgment, she went off with him and two other people in the vehicle.

"I tell my children don't you ever get in a  car with someone you don't know, and because of my financial needs I was willing to do that. I should not have done that," said Taylor.

She said the man then drove her to an ATM and told her to withdraw cash to hold as "insurance". She did not understand what he meant, but did as she was told, as she was fearful at that point.

Taylor said she withdrew the small amount she had in her account. The man then drove her to Metrocenter Mall off Dunlap and Interstate 17, took her money, and left her stranded at the mall.

Taylor said the whole experience taught her a big lesson, and she was willing to share it so no one else out there would be conned by the same man.

"He hurt my family. My twins turned 14 years old yesterday and I didn't even have enough money to buy them a cake," sobbed Taylor.

"I feel so embarrassed. I feel like, it was karma, I did this to myself and got what I deserved. Now, I would probably never get in the car with someone else -- meet in a public place," she warns other. "I've had wonderful experiences on OfferUp before this."

It's the same advice police would give you. Always make sure any transactions are done in a public place and during the day. Never give anyone your personal information, or your address, and report all crimes to OfferUp and your local authorities.

Taylor has filed an official complaint with OfferUp. She noted that "Lyric", who told her he also goes by "Habibi", no longer had an active profile on the site.

Taylor is also in the process of filing a police report.

She said "Lyric" was driving a mocha-colored Nissan Altima with Texas license plates.

ABC15 attempted to contact "Lyric" at a number provided by Taylor. The man who answered the phone hung up on us.

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