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VIDEO: Some Violent Crime Linked to Social Media Transactions.

This man was pushed from a moving vehicle.

Police have identified a notable increase in offenders committing theft and violent crime linked to Social Media Platforms throughout Hobsons Bay, Wyndham and Maribyrnong Police Service Areas.

Young man wheeled to the ambulance
This man was pushed from a moving car in a mobile phone transaction that went wrong in October 2019 in Hoppers Crossing.

Senior Sergeant Aaron RICHES said, “Police have observed a significant increase in people being injured during transactions involving mobile phones and computers – all linked to sites such as Facebook Market place and Gumtree.”

“Offenders are creating fake accounts – using fake names and utilising $20 throw away mobile phones, to engage sellers and to steal expensive phones and computers.”

“Criminals are predominately targeting Apple products and requesting to meet in places such as local parks, residential addresses and secluded locations . . . Any resistance offered up by sellers to offenders taking the phones – usually results in violence.”

Senior Sergeant RICHES said, “These Social Media platforms offer sellers no protection . . They have no built in accountabilities, transaction protections or feedback systems to protect sellers and keep Community members safe.”

This man was pushed from a moving vehicle in October last year
Police recover evidence from a violent incident involving a mobile phone trade.

Please consider these safety tips :

 Don’t use unaccountable platforms (Facebook Sales or Gumtree) use Ebay or similar with accountabilities and protective structures.
 Don’t meet at residential locations/homes or places without CCTV. Use Police Station Foyers, McDONALDS or Petrol Station foyers covered by CCTV.
 Post your items – once payment has cleared via paypal or internet banking, to avoid customer contact.
 Take a friend with you – exercise caution.
 Verify who you’re dealing with – prior to meeting up.
 Do not sell via SMS – or deal with a private number.
 Beware of overly amicable sellers.
 Maintain communications via the on line platform to assist investigators (Don’t revert to mobile phone sms)

Senior Sergeant RICHES said, ‘Offenders are likely to be males who request meeting times in the afternoon or evenings. . . and remember – if you sense something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.”

Source: Eyewatch – Wyndham Police Service Area