Last weekend, Lincolnshire Police issued a warning after a series of Facebook frauds were reported in the Lincoln and North Hykeham areas.
The victims had advertised items such as iPads or iPhones for sale on Facebook’s Marketplace buying and selling platform. The sellers were then contacted by a woman, claiming to be called Sarah, wanting to buy an item. After agreeing to a deal, a man later attended the addresses of each seller to collect the items on behalf of "Sarah". The promised transfer of funds for the items in all cases was never received and soon afterwards, "Sarah's" Facebook profile disappeared.
The force had four reports from victims who had lost goods via this method of deceit, and two further reports of possible attempts to steal goods.
Although these crimes were specific to Lincolnshire on this occasion, we’re urging people to be mindful of such scams throughout the region, and indeed nationwide, particularly as many people are still working from home.
If you are selling an item online, do not hand over the goods until you are sure you have received the payment. Someone may look genuine on their profile, but as in "Sarah's" case, it may be fake and you may fall victim to a scam.
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).