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Facebook Marketplace sellers warned over fraudsters

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SELLERS of high value electrical items online are being urged to be vigilant after reports of people walking away with goods they have not paid for.

Hampshire police said fraudsters are convincing sellers, particularly those using Facebook Marketplace, they have paid for items via bank transfer.

There have been 21 incidents reported in the county since 14th August. Among the items stolen were laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles and a drone, ranging in value from £370 to £3,400.

Fraudsters are convincing sellers they have paid for items via bank transfer
Fraudsters are convincing sellers they have paid for items via bank transfer

A force spokesperson said: "Those pretending to be buyers have turned up to collect the items and convinced the seller 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."

The advice is to always check and be completely satisfied cash has been received before handing over any goods. Genuine buyers will accept that as correct practice.

Sellers should have someone with them at home when prospective buyers attend, or arrange to meet them in a public place.

There is no need to show anyone ID and there should be no reason to pass over personal details 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," added the spokesperson.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to Hampshire Constabulary via its website.

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