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SNHU student thinks he got scammed in computer deal

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 27. 2012 12:40AM

MANCHESTER - A Southern New Hampshire University freshman is hoping to get back about $2,000 in computer equipment he tried to exchange for a high-end laptop he needed for school.

Isaac Campbell said Wednesday he was losing hope that he had an honest deal in place last week with a man he had met through an ad on Craigslist.

'I'm pretty sure I got scammed. Almost positive,' said Campbell, who contacted police Tuesday after repeated calls he made to the man went unanswered for several days.

Manchester police confirmed they were investigating, but declined to give any details.

Campbell said he has been bartering computer equipment on the popular website for years with no problems and took precautions against being scammed, including taking a photo of the man's driver's license.

'I shouldn't trust anyone I guess with Craigslist,' Campbell said. 'He gave no indication of any reasons why I shouldn't trust him. Obviously, that kind of went downhill.'

Campbell was trying to get an Alienware laptop worth around $2,000 and offered in exchange two of his old laptops, an old printer and a new iPad 3 he was given as a graduation present this summer. He arranged a meeting in the parking lot at the Mall of New Hampshire last Wednesday and upon seeing the Alienware laptop, notice a few things he wanted changed.

The man agreed to take the computer home and make the changes and Campbell said he turned over the iPad, one of the laptops and the printer but held on to the second laptop until the exchange was completed.

'I asked if he could do a little custom work. I said, 'listen I have all your information.' We also wrote an agreement,' Campbell said. 'Once he has the work done we would meet up again. I would give the other laptop and I would get his.'

Campbell said they spoke again the next day, but emails and calls after that have gone unreturned.

'I was pretty used to him taking a little while to respond,' Campbell said. 'I told him if it was an honest mistake, I didn't want to go crazy, but it came to a point where I needed something for school now.'

So Campbell went to police, who told him Wednesday that they had identified the man and were investigating. He said he was still hopeful he would get his property back and was more concerned with that than potential criminal charges.

Messages left by the Union Leader with the telephone number Campbell used to contact the man went unreturned Wednesday.

Campbell's family also is upset that someone would apparently take advantage of a trusting 18-year-old who just graduated from Concord Christian Academy this year.

Older brother Mike Campbell, who runs the family-founded business Grace Limousine LLC, said he helped Isaac purchase a laptop to get him through his current studies while the family waits to see if police can retrieve the equipment.

'It's just really shocking. The iPad that he traded was something we all chipped in to get him,' Mike Campbell said. 'It's been a time drain and a stresser. It's too bad there's people like that out there.'

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Doug Alden may be reached at

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