12 Aug 2021

Woman accused of selling multitool 47 times in two weeks

2:00 pm on 12 August 2021

A Masterton woman has been arrested after selling a multitool on Facebook marketplace 47 times over a 13 day period.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Police received a report from a member of the public who purchased a multitool on marketplace for $95, but never received the item, Wairarapa prevention manager Senior Sergeant Ian Osland said.

An investigation into the woman's bank statements found payments from 47 people.

"Police were particularly concerned over the number of people who fell victim to the scam and did not report it to police," Osland said.

People were embarrassed they had been deceived, Osland said.

He said police will take any report seriously.

This type of scam is not limited to multitools but cell phones, vehicles, electronics and other goods sold on Facebook marketplace, he said.

The 32-year-old woman was charged and is on bail.

She will appear in Masterton District Court on Thursday 19 August in relation to the online offending and also shoplifting offences.

Police urge people to purchase from legitimate online stores or regulated websites like TradeMe.

They recommend taking the following precautions when buying online:

  • Insist on meeting to conduct transactions and examine the item before completing the transaction.
  • Meet in a public place, and take a friend.
  • Do not go into someone's house or allow them into yours, do not deposit money into another person's account.
  • Learn more about the person you are buying from or selling to.
  • Ensure friends and family, especially anyone vulnerable, understand what to do to protect themselves and be the person to provide that ongoing support and advice.
  • Trust your instincts - if it's too good to be true or sounds like a scam, it probably is.