Since August, police have received at least 12 reports of fraud involving a suspect who reportedly creates fraudulent e-transfers to pay for property he buys on various online marketplaces. It is reported that the suspect sends or shows the seller a fake e-transfer, sometimes with more than the agreed sale price offered as a “tip.” By the time the seller realizes the transfer is fake, the suspect has disappeared with the property.
On Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022 Anthony Renella Dugas, 29, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of fraud.
It is estimated that Renella Dugas has allegedly defrauded victims of thousands of dollars, and police believe there may be more incidents that have yet to be reported. On online buy-and-sell sites, he often goes by the names Tony Schultz, Anthony Rendell, Tony EMW, or Richard Carramusa. He is a white male who stands 6’3” and weighs 290 lbs.
Anthony Renella Dugas, 29
Weight: 290 lbs
Police are warning online buy-and-sell users to check that e-transfers are deposited into their bank account prior to releasing any property to the buyer. Police are also requesting that anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Renella Dugas to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.
When buying property on buy-and-sell websites, especially for higher-priced items, users are urged to take precautions:
- Do not meet in a secluded place or invite strangers into your home. Suggest meeting during the day at a public location, ideally with video surveillance, such as one of the EPS Buy and Sell Exchange Zones.
- Have someone come with you when you meet. If you cannot arrange for someone to accompany you, let friends or family know where you are going, what time you are meeting and all the details about who you are meeting. Let your contact know that everything is ok.
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to utilize Canadian Police Information Centre CPIC https://www.cpic-cipc.ca/index-eng.htm to search serial numbers of electronics/firearms/bikes or VIN numbers of vehicles. For bikes, Bike Index is another good search resource for stolen property.
- Take screenshots of the advertisements, the advertisement ID number, the seller's contact information, and all communications.
Visit our Online Classifieds Safety page for more tips.