Cyber Crimes Unit Investigating Fraudulent Online Sales Scheme

Cyber Crimes Unit Investigating Fraudulent Online Sales Scheme

There is another case of fraud that the Cyber Crimes Unit is investigating.  In this case, 28-year-old, Stephen Butler of St. Matthew’s Village saw a recliner sofa set on the Facebook Marketplace that he wanted to purchase.  He made contact with the seller, who used the name, Adailanie Lopez.  The selling price was one thousand five hundred dollars, but when Butler tried to negotiate the price, he was told to call the number 632-0375.  Butler did just that, and had the price lowered to one thousand three hundred dollars plus one hundred dollars for delivery.  He was then instructed to deposit the money into an Atlantic Bank account belonging to one Anthony Sanchez.  The money was deposited on Tuesday, February 13, and the seller promised delivery on the same day.  It turns out, however, that once the money was deposited, the seller proceeded to block Butler from contacting him, and the sofa was taken off the marketplace.  On Friday, February 16, Police were able to locate the fraudulent salesman, confirmed to be 34-year-old, Anthony Egbert Sanchez of an Eleanor Usher Street address.  He was taken to the Belmopan Police Station where he was charged with obtaining property by deception. Head of the Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit Superintendent Osmond Mortis says that police have seen more than ten such reports for this year.

Supt. Osmond Mortis, Head of Cyber Crimes Unit: “There is a Cyber Crime Act, there are other laws the deal with this and in that case it’s partly obtaining property by deception you know because they deceived that person into getting that money and that person did not receive any items that they were looking for. So the first step is going to that police station nearby and make your report. Thereafter the crimes investigation branch or the Police Cyber Crime Unit will launch their investigation and we will take it from there. Yes we have come across quite a few reports some of which are on the media already. We deal with them as they come in and what we try to do is encourage the general public to be more careful out there you know when making any online purchases ask for the location of the item, ask if you or a representative or both can actually see the item to verify that the items are the same as advertised you know or check the name of the seller, the location of the seller, the contact information of the seller you know ? Maybe a cash on delivery, or upon inspection of these items that you want to purchase but when it comes to the amount I don’t have a figure for you for the amount that we have received for this year but I can say that it’s over a dozen.”

Mortis urged the public to remain vigilant when conducting business online.

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