The LAPD has handed the investigation over to its Los Angeles and Orange County High Tech Task Force, said LAPD detective Terry Willis, who heads the unit. The task force will consult with federal authorities from the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Despite the increased scrutiny, Willis didn't hold out much hope that the suspects would be caught. The LAPD searched the offices that the alleged scam artists occupied, but found them vacant.
"It was a plain old-fashioned bust out," Willis said. "I think these guys are long gone. But you never know, you may get lucky."
First reported by CNET News.com, the alleged scam involved the sale of computer and electronics equipment by an auction seller in Van Nuys, Calif. After building a positive reputation on the site, the seller allegedly defrauded dozens of bidders earlier this month by not sending items that the bidders had purchased.
The LAPD has been receiving calls from victims since Monday, Willis said. Willis said more than 100 people were deceived by the seller.