Calgary, AB,

Buyer beware – phones purchased online could be stolen

Calgary police are issuing a warning to the public once again after almost 200 cell phones were recently stolen from a northeast warehouse. These devices are likely to be posted online to be sold to unsuspecting buyers.

The Calgary Police Service is asking citizens to practice safe internet transactions to help stop the demand for cell phones obtained through crime.

“In late August, 192 devices worth approximately $150,000 were stolen from a northeast warehouse,” said Staff Sergeant Mark England with the Calgary Police Service. “We believe these devices will likely end up for sale online and urge Calgarians to do their due diligence before purchasing a cell phone online.”

Police note that cell phone providers would be unable to activate the phone for full use; it could only be used to access Wi-fi.

Multiple phones of the following models were stolen:

  • Samsung Note20 Ultra 5G 128 in black and bronze
  • Huawei P30 Lite in black
  • Apple iPhone SE 2nd Gen 64GB in black
  • LG K61 in white
  • LG K41S in titan grey
  • Apple iPhone XR 64GB in white
  • Apple iPhone 11 64GB in red

Tips for safer internet buy-sell experiences

There are several ways citizens can stay safe when using online sites to purchase phones, in particular:

  • Buyers should ask to meet the seller at a mobile retailer to confirm the phone’s serial number or IMEI number is legitimate. Every cell phone has a unique 15-digit IMEI number, however investigators believe the fraudsters are providing fake IMEI numbers to potential buyers.
  • Keep things local and in cash. Don’t use cheques or money wiring services.
  • Do not give out personal or banking information (e.g. social insurance number, bank account number or address).
  • Inform the buy/sell site of any attempted fraud or suspicious emails, ads, or other activity.
  • In the case of suspected fraud, file a police report.
  • Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“We’re asking anyone who finds they have purchased a stolen phone after August 21 to report the incident to police,” added Staff Sergeant England. “We want to stop the cycle of phones being stolen and resold.”

Anyone with information about stolen phones being sold online is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be left anonymously using Crime Stoppers using any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477


APP: P3 Tips

Case # 20334452/4465