People have been warned to be wary of selling expensive goods online after a series of scams – over £ 171,000 total in one part of the UK alone.
People who sell goods on Facebook, Gumtree and eBay are targeted by scammers – especially people who sell high quality items like watches and cell phones.
The scammers pose as buyers who meet with the sellers and agree to pay by bank transfer, reports Birmingham Live.
Police say money is apparently being transferred to the seller’s account. Later, when the goods have been handed over and the buyer has left, the transfer fails.
Police say the money may show as “pending” on your account or it may even show up as deleted on mobile apps.
West Midlands Police has warned sellers to check their online banking with a computer or call their bank to confirm payment is complete before handing over items.
Police are investigating 33 separate reports of action fraud as of February in the West Midlands alone, with residents losing a total of £ 171,000.
DC Edward Spokes of the Economic Crime Unit said, “The closure of non-essential stores has resulted in more people buying and selling their goods online, and unfortunately, even during this troubled time, scammers are finding ways to take advantage of people.
“Before handing over the goods, anyone who sells goods online should check with their banks to see whether they have received any payments on their account. Any amounts pending on the account do not necessarily mean that the payment has been completed. ”