POLICE have issued a warning to the public regarding scams by people posing as Facebook vendors who solicit money from unsuspecting buyers only to defraud them.
In a release issued on Saturday, the Financial Crime Investigation Branch said to be aware of people offering items for sale on Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Messenger “with the intent to defraud customers of money and use their identifications in other Facebook scams.”
Police explained how the scams work.
“The culprit(s) advertises cars, boats, motorcycles, and other items at attractive prices,” police warned. “To gain the purchaser’s trust, vendors (suspects) send images of government issued IDs which they claim to be their identity. As a result, the victim’s trust is gained and (the victim) deposits or transfers money onto an account in the name of the person whose ID was presented or some other third party.
“The victims are then informed that once the item is paid for, it will be delivered within two or three weeks. However, almost immediately after the funds are deposited or transferred to the account, the suspect discontinues communication with the victim.”
The Royal Bahamas Police Force has advised people to be cautious when sending money to individuals you do not know.
“Additionally, we want to caution individuals not to give their bank account and personal Identification to unknown persons through social media,” police said. “Your personal information and identification will be used in perpetuating the scam. This gives the appearance that you are also a part of the fraudulent activities.”
If you were affected by such a scam, contact the Financial Investigations Branch at 356-6027.