The Bermuda Police Service (BPS) issued another internet scam advisory that has already bilked victims out of $10,000 in cash.
This latest scam solicits payment for goods that are ultimately never delivered.
A police spokesman issued a warning earlier today urging residents not to make payments online in relation to this scam to get money for goods online.
The goods up for sale were being promoted on social media sites, including Instagram. Payments are accepted but the goods are never delivered to the buyer.
“Those involved in this scam have continued to exploit unsuspecting persons and have used method such as offering high end items such as furniture and appliances for sale at significantly reduced cost,” the spokesman said.
“Once an expression of interest is received from a prospective buyer, the would-be seller then attempts to hasten payment by claiming there is a lot of interest in the item. Individuals not wanting to lose out on a ‘deal’, then make the payment and never receive the items advertised.
“So far an estimated $10,000 has been lost by individuals as a result of this illegal activity,” he added.
One fraudulent Instagram account – kamd_xo, is being used to promote the items for sale, which has been brought to the attention of Instagram.
“The public is advised to ignore any advertisements posted under this account or any other Instagram account where the seller insists you make payment before seeing the item.”
Detective Sergeant Seymour Foote of the Criminal Investigations Unit stated: “As we’ve previously advised please take necessary precautions when making purchases, particularly online purchases, from private sellers.
“Remember, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is.”
To avoid becoming a victim:
• When buying from a private seller, avoid making electronic bank transfers
• Make inquiries of and about the seller
• Meet with the seller at a public location within easy view of other people
• If possible, take someone along with you
• Be sure to physically check items before making payment
• Do not make payment before you have received the item
• If you are suspicious about a seller or items advertised for sale on social media, simply do not make the purchase
Victims of this scam, or those with any information about anyone engaging in it or acts of similar nature, are asked to call the BPS non-emergency reporting number 211, the main police number 295-0011 or 800-TIPS (8477).