Facebook is undoubtedly a great way to connect with people from around the world—but maybe not like this. New Zealand farmers are reporting that their avocados are being stolen in massive numbers and resold to unsuspecting users on Facebook.
It sounds silly, but real profits are being lost. Avocados have undergone a dramatic surge in popularity over the past several years that has sent prices skyrocketing. That means these thieves are making big bucks by exploiting innocent farmers—and Facebook users.
“We are seeing thefts on a commercial scale,” Sergeant Trevor Brown said. “We are seeing thousands of dollars of fruit stolen in a single hit and people’s livelihoods are getting ruined… it is not like just stealing a couple of mandarins off your neighbor’s tree, we take it very seriously.”
Though avocados are pretty innocuous, Facebook is often used as a black market for guns, drugs, prescription medication and other illegal wares. So while you may not be shopping for your produce on Facebook, this story is still a good reminder to be wary of what you purchase on the platform. Unless it’s from a reputable retailer, there’s no telling where it came from. And this kind of crime is impossible for Facebook to completely detect.