A 38-year-old man is due in court later this month on 21 charges of obtaining by deception in relation to fraudulent sales on social media platforms.
These are reported to have occurred between early June and late July across the Manawatu region.
It’s alleged the man fraudulently obtained motor vehicles that had been advertised for sale, taking possession of the vehicles after claiming to have paid for them when he hadn’t.
Further similar charges are likely.
He is remanded in custody and due to reappear in Palmerston North District Court on 23 August, on the multiple obtains by deception charges, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, and resisting arrest.
‘This comes as a reminder for Manawatu locals to be alert to fraudulent activity and to take particular care when selling good through social media platforms and online websites,’ says Detective Sergeant Carl Newton.
‘There has been a notable increase in people handing over property to people posing as buyers after being falsely led to believe that they’ve been paid for the item.
‘In such cases, it is common for the claimed buyer to show proof of payment in the form of a cellphone screenshot of a bank transfer of funds to the sellers – however the money is never deposited into the seller’s account.
‘These type of fraudulent purchases happen with lower value items, but also happen with more expensive items such as motor vehicles.
‘Whenever selling goods, make sure you deal in cash or ensure the money has actually been received in your bank account before handing the item over.
‘Call 111 in an emergency. We would rather attend to prevent a crime happening, than attend after an offence has occurred.
‘If a fraudulent transaction has already happened you can get in touch with Police on 105.police.govt.nz, or call Police on 105.’