Derbyshire Constabulary are issuing a warning after an increase in reports of fraud on Facebook MarketPlace.
Sellers have lost high value items such as phones, designer clothing, and games consoles after releasing an item to the buyer when being led to believe that payment has been made or is pending.
The buyers in question may send fake bank transfer screenshots or email confirmations as proof of payment.
However, when the seller checks their online accounts, the payment is not there.
When accepting payments online, always check your account or third-party payment facility to ensure that payment has been cleared before handing over or posting the goods.
The constabulary recommends that you do not use links or websites supplied by the buyer to check for payment, as these can also be forged and look genuine. Always log in to payment providers via a trusted route.
Whilst buy and sell pages can be a good way to reduce clutter and make some money, please always consider your safety, and follow these tips:
Meet the buyer in a busy public place that you are familiar with, potentially a café, shop, or car park that you know is covered by CCTV.
Take a friend or relative with you.
If you are feeling nervous or unsure, you could take images or videos so that the buyer and items can be identified if there is any dispute or theft.
So far, only Derbyshire Constabulary have issued a warning, but this advice applies across the region and indeed nationwide.
If you live in Derbyshire and have experienced this type of scam, you can contact Derbyshire police via the following methods:
Facebook - send them a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter - direct message their contact centre on @DerPolContact
Website - complete the online contact form
Phone - call them on 101.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
All reports of this nature also need to be reported to Action Fraud 0300 120 2040 or online
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).