Christchurch Scoop

Canterbury Police Warn Of Facebook Marketplace Scam

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Christchurch Police are advising people buying or selling electronics on 
Facebook to be wary of scams and fake profiles.

Police have dealt with five cases in the city where offenders will create a 
fake Facebook profile and advertise a high-end iPhone or iPad on Facebook 
Marketplace at a price that’s almost too-good to be true.

The offender then arranges a meeting place to make the sale.

However, in these cases no sale has taken place and multiple victims have had 
their own cell phones or cash stolen from them.

In other cases the offenders will contact the seller of a genuine listing, 
arrange a time and place to meet and then steal the item instead of paying 
for it.

Canterbury Police are working under the assumption that the five incidents 
are linked and involve the same offenders.

In one case on September 23 a person agreed to meet the offender to sell an 
iPad they had listed on Facebook Marketplace.

Two offenders have met with the victim and run away with the iPad – and 
have then assaulted the victim who has given chase.

If you decide to purchase off social media, we encourage you to take basic 
precautions to protect yourself. This includes:

• Insist on meeting to conduct transactions and examine the item before 
completing the transaction. Meet in a public place, and take a friend. DO NOT 
go into someone’s house or allow them into yours, DO NOT deposit money into 
another person’s account before you have received the item.

• Learning more about the person you are buying from or selling to. Note: 
You can tap on a person’s profile on the product listing page to see if you 
have any friends in common, their marketplace activity, and any ratings they 
may have received.

• Protect yourself from online scams. Check out is external) or 
is external)

• Ensure friends and family, especially anyone vulnerable, understand what 
to do to protect themselves. Be the person to provide that ongoing support 
and advice.

• Trust your instincts – if it’s too good to be true or sounds like a 
scam, it probably is.

New Zealand Police have partnered with Facebook, Netsafe and CERT to bring 
attention to the variety of online scams offenders use.

To find out more about common types of scams, visit [1]

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam should make a report to 
Police on 105 or visit their local station.

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