Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning the public of an active scam involving the sale of counterfeit cell phones.
Since November 9, 2020, Wellington County OPP have investigated three similar type fraud occurrences. Other police agencies have also received complaints of the same type of scam.
In this type of fraud, the fraudster uses popular buy and sell websites to advertise new cell phones for sale. The victim believes that they are getting a new cell phone at a discounted price and arranges to meet the “seller” in the parking lot of a gas bar or coffee shop.
In some exchanges, the “seller” will go as far as including a receipt with serial numbers that match the number on the cell phone. The counterfeit phones look authentic and are delivered in a new box wrapped in clear plastic.
Each victim lost between $1000 and $1500 for the counterfeit phones.
- Warnings posted online
- No customer phone number or email listed on the website
- An odd or different name on your credit card statement
- The transaction is in different currency
- The product packaging has no labels
- The quality of product is bad
- The price is hugely discounted
Scammers are constantly creating fake ads online. To reach potential victims, they use:
- classified ads sites
- resale sites
- website pop-ups
- fake company websites
Items offered for sale in these scams can be almost anything, including:
- event tickets
- electronic equipment
- apartment, cottage, or vacation rentals
- motor vehicles
A good rule of thumb: if the asking price of a product is too good to be true, it is.
Never send money to strangers. Reduce your risk of victimization.
Anyone with any information about this occurrence is asked to contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous; you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.
If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of fraud contact your local police service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or report the incident online at crimestoppersguelphwellington.com