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Online buyers warned about scammers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/05/2017

Man typing on computer © Thinkstock Man typing on computer Police are warning the public to be careful when buying goods on social media sites after a Christchurch man potentially scammed 11 people.

Police say the man allegedly used social media to offer to sell goods, such as bicycles.

However, despite accepting payment on the goods, he is then failing to deliver them to the buyer, area prevention manager Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves says.

"Too many people have lost hundreds of dollars by handing over money to individuals behaving in this way," he says.

Sen Sgt Reeves says victims of such fraud should contact police, but warned the crimes can be hard to investigate because often the offenders use false social media accounts and can be hard to trace.

He said by educating buyers so money was not handed over to the offenders in the first place, there would be less incentive for them to continue.

"Prevention is our number one priority," he says.

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

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