Vancouver police have issued a warning about a scam on Facebook’s buy-and-sell site after an investigation revealed at least 50 victims.
Const. Tania Visintin, a spokesperson for the VPD, is urging people not to send money to anyone selling an item over Facebook Marketplace without meeting the person first or confirming the seller is legitimate.
Visintin recommended to “pick a safe public place, like a police station lobby, to meet up with anyone you’re planning to do business with.”
VPD cybercrime unit detectives launched a series of investigations after one person came forward to report being scammed by people using the Facebook site.
The scam starts by a self-described seller posts items for sale and arranges meetings with potential buyers, but then convinces the victims into sending an e-transfer payment before meeting the seller.
Visintin said the seller then stops communicating with the victims and never shows up to exchange goods.
It was reported that “the investigation led officers to a home in Surrey, where investigators last week served a search warrant and seized, among other things, a loaded gun, various weapons, and documents linking the suspect to the Facebook scam.”
Visintin said police believe the people posing as sellers “were using multiple bank accounts, fake names, and various phone numbers or emails to execute these frauds.”
“Evidence obtained during these investigations suggest there are dozens of victims who have not yet come forward to police.”
Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is asked to call 604-717-4034.
This article was originally sourced by www.o.canada.com.