Man loses $2000 item to masked robber in shocking Facebook Marketplace scheme

In the digital age, online marketplaces have become a convenient platform for buying and selling goods.

However, as a Melbourne man recently discovered, these platforms can also be a hunting ground for thieves and scammers.

Imran Ali Shah, 22, had his $2000 Samsung S24 phone stolen by a masked thief who posed as a buyer on Facebook Marketplace.

Shah's ordeal began when he listed his Samsung S24 for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

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A masked robber stole a Melbourne man’s $2000 Samsung phone that was being sold on Facebook Marketplace. Image source: Shutterstock.

Within 24 hours, he had a prospective buyer who agreed to pay cash for the phone.

The buyer arrived at Shah's house at 6 pm on a Thursday, wearing a surgical mask and no shoes.

He claimed his grandmother lived across the street, which was why he was barefoot.

When Shah presented the phone to the buyer, the man quickly snatched it and sprinted to a waiting getaway car.

Shah was left stunned, unable to note any of the thief's details.

The entire incident was captured on Shah's home security system.

'He said, “Show me if it’s sealed”…as I turned the phone over, he just grabbed it,' Shah recounted.

'I thought it was a joke at first, I started laughing.'

The reality of the situation hit him hard when he realised he had been robbed.

Despite his attempts to chase the getaway car in his own car, the thief had already disappeared.

Shah reported the incident to the police, hoping that the thief would be apprehended.

'My heart sank initially, but hopefully something good can come of it,' he said.

This incident underscores the importance of being vigilant when conducting transactions on online marketplaces.

Be Connected, a government-funded initiative to educate the community about online scams, offers several recommendations for people selling goods online.

They advise sellers to meet buyers in a safe public place and to have another person present during the transaction.

Importantly, they caution against inviting strangers into your home.

They also recommend not handing over the item until payment has been received.

This comes after an Adelaide woman was left scratching her head in disbelief after her recent purchase on Facebook Marketplace took a bizarre turn.

Debbie, a resident of Craigmore, thought she had scored a great deal when she found a brand-new TV listed on Facebook Marketplace.

The seller claimed he had won the TV in a raffle and was looking to sell it.

Debbie agreed to the asking price of $550 and arranged for the seller to drop off the TV at her home.

However, when she opened the box expecting to find her new television, she was met with a bewildering sight.

You can read more about this incident here.
Key Takeaways
  • A Melbourne man's Samsung phone valued at $2000 was stolen by a masked thief during a Facebook Marketplace sale.
  • The robbery was caught on the victim's home security system.
  • The seller, Imran Ali Shah, was tricked when showing the phone's seal, which the thief snatched before fleeing in a getaway car.
  • Be Connected, a government-funded initiative, advises sellers to meet buyers in public places and not to hand over items until payment is completed.
Have you had any similar experiences on online marketplaces? Share your stories and tips in the comments below.
So the tv buyer didn’t think it was stolen property? These scams are mostly because of greed. Feel sorry for the phone seller though. You can contact your phone company and get it locked, although brazen thieves would know a way around it
My husband won a sound system in a raffle around Christmas. It’s worth $550 dollars. we really have no use for it and planned to sell it on market place but I’ve been reluctant. My son said don’t have them pick it up from home, meet them somewhere. But what’s to stop them following me home. I’ll have to work something out, it’s no good just sitting there
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