Alert to Facebook Marketplace sellers following a number of fraud reports across Hampshire
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We are urging those selling high value electrical items online, particularly on Facebook Marketplace, to be vigilant following a number of reports where people pretending to be ‘buyers’ have walked away with the goods after convincing the seller they have paid via bank transfer.
There have been a total of 21 incidents since August 14 across Hampshire.
Laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, a drone and a watch are amongst the items stolen, ranging in price from £370 to £3400.
Those pretending to be ‘buyers’ have answered a seller’s advert quickly and when they have turned up to collect the items, they have then convinced the buyer they have transferred the money by showing them the transfer on a banking app. When the sellers have said they can’t see the money in their account, the ‘buyers’ have convinced them it will appear soon and have left with the goods.
On some occasions, the ‘buyers’ have taken a photo of the seller on their doorstep and asked them to produce ID.
We know online buying and selling sites are really popular and are a great way to trade second hand items, however we want to remind people to please be vigilant when selling items in this way.
Our advice would be:
- Always check and be completely satisfied the money is in your bank account before you hand over the goods. Genuine buyers will accept that this is correct practice
- Have someone with you at home when prospective buyers attend, or arrange to meet them in a public place
- You do not need to show anyone ID. There should be no reason to pass over your personal details / ID to a prospective buyer
- If you believe someone has attempted to scam you in this way, please try and note down a description of the people involved or vehicle they travelled in and make a report.
- Report any suspicious activity via our online reporting tool Report fraud | Hampshire Constabulary