Cell Phone Fraudster Arrested

Saanich Police are warning consumers about the presence of fraudulent used cell phone transactions after a 24 year old male was arrested this past weekend for selling two counterfeit phones.

A 30 year old victim contacted Saanich Police reporting that he had responded to an add on usedvictoria.com to a seller that claimed to have a used Samsung Galaxy Note 4 cell phone for sale. The victim and the seller met at a public location, agreed on a price that was close to the asking price of $580, and the sale took place.

The victim returned to his home and began to attempt to access programming on the phone, however, quickly determined that the phone did not appear to have some programming that would be consistent with the Samsung product. The victim confirmed that he had been duped by the seller after attending to speak with a Samsung cell phone expert who quickly confirmed that the cell phone was a “fake”, and not a true Samsung product. The victim reported his findings to Saanich Police on Saturday.

One of the investigating officers checked usedvictoria.com for any further listings that would be consistent. The officer located a similar listing and made arrangements to meet with a seller the following day.

On Sunday, the officer, in plain clothes, attended and met with the seller at Uptown shopping center. The seller and the undercover officer agreed on a price and a sale of another phone took place. Some of the noted shortcomings of the phone for sale were noted and officers were satisfied that the second phone also appeared to be a counterfeit.

The 24 year old seller of the phone, a resident of Kelowna, was arrested at the scene. A subsequent search of an nearby vehicle associated to the seller located one more suspicious phone.

The male was processed and later released. While this investigation is still ongoing, it is anticipated that at least two counts of Fraud will be requested.

“Investigators believe that there may be other victims that may have fallen to this scam” Sgt. Steve Eassie stated. “It would appear that there may have been previous transactions with other buyers that took place where the buyers have not been satisfied with the product purchased. We would encourage anyone that may have fallen victim to this scam to contact Cst. Aaron STUART at 250-475-4321.”

It would also appear that the 24 year old suspect was simply visiting the Greater Victoria area. The suspect is known to have ties to both the interior of British Columbia in Kelowna, as well as ties to the Province of Alberta.

Anyone who may have information that could assist with this investigation, or who may have fallen victim to this crime, are asked to contact the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.

File 2015-2258

Sgt. Steve Eassie #158

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