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Police seek additional complainants in knockoff cell phone scam

For Immediate Release: 08-Nov-2019 @ 9:49 AM
MRU #: 19R118

A British Columbia man has been charged after attempting to sell counterfeit Samsung Galaxy S10+ phones online.

On November 2, 2019, Edmonton Police Services became aware of a suspect who was advertising counterfeit Samsung Galaxy S10+ phones on buy-and-sell sites such as Kijiji, Facebook Market Place and letgo. The phones, which retail new for approximately $1,300, were being advertised for $650.


The cell phones were convincingly packaged in plastic shrink wrap. However, the phones were found to have duplicate IMEI numbers, and were not compatible with a Canadian network.


Counterfeit cell phone being offered for sale


Counterfeit cell phone being offered for sale


On Saturday Nov. 2, 2019, Shalom Oniha, 30, of Burnaby, B.C. was arrested and charged with fraud under $5,000, possession of proceeds of crime and possession of forged documents.


“Online classifieds are a great place to buy and sell, but we always encourage buyers to ask for documentation, including the seller’s photo ID, proof of purchase, and a bill of sale,” says Cst Laura Clarke, of Downtown Division. “And there’s always the golden rule: if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.”


For more online buying safety tips, visit the EPS website.


Police believe there may be more phones still available for sale online, and that others may have fallen victim to this fraud. Complainants are encouraged to come forward by calling 780-423-4567 or come into a police station.


Please contact Cheryl Voordenhout at (780) 421-3507 for more information.

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