Police warn of sleight of hand used in recent FB Marketplace thefts


2024-01-29 09:00 PST

In January 2024, Richmond RCMP is actively investigating 2 incidents of high dollar items being stolen. In these incidents, Facebook Marketplace was how the buyer and seller contacted each another.

The seller meets with the buyer. The buyer offers payment in cash. The buyer counts the cash in front of the seller and places it in an envelope. While the seller is distracted, the envelope is switched out for an envelope containing paper inside of it. The seller only realizes this once the buyer has left with their items. The items included designer bags such as those from Dior and Chanel, and Sony digital cameras.

Online Marketplaces can be a very positive experience for the buyer and seller. The vast majority of transactions would fall under that category says Inspector Mike Roberts, Operations Officer, Richmond RCMP.

Consider meeting only in public locations, preferably those with security cameras. Better still, many RCMP Detachments and municipal police agencies offer a safe transaction area where buyers and sellers may meet. Consider it a red flag when a buyer or seller refuses to meet at such a location. When presented with cash, be cognizant of this slight of hand technique adds Insp. Roberts.

Police believe there are likely unreported incidents that occurred via this and other online platforms in Richmond and neighbouring communities. If you have been a victim or may have been a victim, we advise reporting the incident to your local police.

Released by:

Cpl. Dennis Hwang
Media Relations Officer
Richmond RCMP
11411 No. 5 Road, Richmond, BC V7A 4E8
Office: 604-207-5189

Email: richmond_media@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Website: richmond.rcmp.ca

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