Social media sales scam warning

Published 5:00pm 22 November 2023

Social media sales scam warning
Words by Jodie Powell

Police are investigating a series of cases of fraud in which people bought goods listed on social media and did not receive what they purchased.

On November 8, a North Lakes woman bought a mobile phone that was listed on social media.

She visited a North Lakes carpark and paid $1200 for a phone that appeared new and was in a sealed package.

When she returned home, she discovered the phone was faulty and the seller had provided a fake receipt.

On the same day, another phone was sold to a Mango Hill man for $1100 after he replied to an ad on social media.

That phone was also in a box wrapped in plastic and a fake receipt was provided.

When the man returned home he found the phone was fake.

The alleged fraudster is described as male, in his 20s, with a scar on his left shoulder, shaved head, muscular build and wearing a blue singlet and blue shorts.

It is believed the two men are working together as details on the receipts supplied to the buyers are the same.

A third scam

Police are investigating a similar offence on October 25 at Newport.

A 34-year-old Bald Hills man arranged to meet a seller in the carpark of a Newport convenience store at about 9pm.

The man paid $1000 for a mobile phone packaged in plastic and when turned on, appeared to function.

When the man returned home, he found the phone was a fake.

The seller is described as male, aged between 16 and 18, 170cm tall, with hazel eyes, brown hair, crooked teeth and wearing a black shirt, light-coloured pants and slippers.

Tips for buying and selling on social media

  • Be cautious when asked to pay a deposit online without sighting the item or the seller
  • Co-ordinate in advance, ask what type of car they are driving, and other identifiable details so you can arrive knowing what to expect
  • Always let someone know of your plans
  • Police encourage meeting in public places if possible. Choose busy locations with CCTV and preferably in daylight hours
  • Consider meeting near a local police station
  • If the person you are meeting arrives in a vehicle, consider taking a picture of the vehicle


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