wwjarchitecture RCMP warn public about Facebook Marketplace scams

Warning comes after man was allegedly scammed $500 from Kamloops seller, part of 96 calls to service
RCMP vehicle. (Patrick Davies photo - wwjarchitecture)

wwjarchitecture RCMP is reminding the public to be vigilant regarding scams on social media after an alleged scam on Facebook Marketplace last week.

The incident was one of 96 calls to service the RCMP had between May 7 and May 14 - and had been alleged to occur on May 13. The RMP said that the complainant “viewed an ad for a vehicle and contacted the seller via messenger.”

The complainant then set up arrangements for a meeting after they paid a “deposit of $500” in Kamloops - but there, the seller never showed up, the RCMP say. The RCMP later determined that the profile on Facebook was a “clone/hack of another legitimate profile/person that was not involved.”

Sgt. Brian Lamb noted that RCMP often receives reports about similar scams on Facebook Marketplace and other social media selling sites - and that fraudsters would “often list items for sale for prices that are too good to be true, ask for advance deposits to hold the item, and will often clone legitimate social media sites.”

The RCMP advise the public that if they are interested in purchasing an item online on a site such as Facebook Marketplace to “use caution in sending a deposit in advance of actually viewing the item and that meeting face to face prior to depositing money.”

On May 8 RCMP responded to a reported rollover caused by a squirrel. The incident occurred on Canim Hendrix Lake Road and on attendance Lamb said the vehicle “was located off the road on its roof and the driver was out of the vehicle”.

According to the driver, he had swerved to miss a squirrel that was on the road, but lost control when he went into the ditch. The RCMP say the driver sustained minor injuries.

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On May 10, the RCMP received a 911 call that was “abandoned” from a male who sounded like he was in “distress”. Lamb said during the call a second voice was heard by the operator.

The RCMP then performed a ping on the call, which they determined had come from 103 Mile Lake, which they then went to. There, they found the male in a vehicle, who they said “showed symptoms of alcohol impairment”. The male then told the RCMP that the second voice on the 911 call was a female, who was “allegedly hiding as the male was on no contact conditions with her” inside the trunk.

Officers subsequently arrested the male for “breach of an undertaking” and issued a breath demand for alcohol. The RCMP said the male refused and was issued an immediate roadside prohibition for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

Two incidents of theft are said to have occurred on May 11 and May 13 respectively. The first incident on May 11 involved a reported theft of an RV from the 8000 block of Cottonwood Bay Road.

A 1995 Ford motorhome with BC licence plate TE378L was reported taken from said property. The RCMP do not know when exactly the theft occurred, but said “it was first observed missing on the date of the report.” The RV has yet to be recovered.

The second incident was reported on May 13, and the RCMP said it didn’t just involve theft, but also breaking and entering. The incident is said to have occurred on the 200 block of Seventh Street, where a fenced compound was entered and a vehicle, which was parked inside, was broken into.

Lamb said that specialized equipment was taken as well as hand tools, which are worth a combined $45,000. The RCMP believe the suspect would have been there for some time, and in addition, they believe the incident occurred sometime between the evening of May 10 and May 13.

Finally, an incident of mischief was reported along the 500 block of Cedar Avenue on May 11. The RCMP said that a vehicle parked there had its windows smashed. The RCMP does not know when the incident occurred.

Those with information about these incidents or others are asked to call the RCMP at 250-395-2456, or anonymously 24 hours at Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or online at bccrimestoppers.com.

About the Author: Misha Mustaqeem

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