Facebook: Police warn of fraudulent online sales

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New Zealand Police in Christchurch are reminding members of the public that if a Facebook deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t worth the risk.

Police is currently investigating a case involving a man who has potentially scammed at least 11 people by selling goods on social media pages.

Area Prevention Manager Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves says the man has allegedly been offering items, such as bikes, for sale throughout Canterbury.

“He is accepting payment and then not delivering the goods,” he says.

“Too many people have lost hundreds of dollars by handing over money to individuals behaving in this way.”

Mr Reeves says anyone who has been a victim of fraud should contact Police.

“Keeping us informed helps us build our intelligence on this form of criminal activity which is very useful during our investigations.”

Police will investigate any reports of fraud but it is particularly difficult to trace false social media accounts.

“Often, those selling these goods are using false accounts, appearing as honest and legitimate people,” says Mr Reeves.

“Prevention is our number one priority.

If we can prevent people ever handing over money to these offenders, there will be less incentive for them to continue.

“Buy goods in person or through reputable sites, where you can verify that you are going to get what you are paying for.”

The investigation into this case is ongoing.

Anyone with any information which may assist Police with their ongoing enquiries into fraudulent online sales is asked to contact Christchurch Police on 03 363 7400.

Alternatively, information may be shared anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Further advice on keeping yourself safe online can be found at consumerprotection.govt.nz/get-guidance

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