Warning issued following fake Facebook Marketplace sales
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We are urging residents across the county to be vigilant of fraudsters who appear to be genuine buyers or sellers on Facebook Marketplace.
In two recent incidents, sellers have lost high-value items after receiving cash notes from the buyer and releasing items to the buyer.
Only for the victims to then be told that when cashing the notes in, they were fake cash notes.
We were called to a property off Crowden Road, Tamworth, at 1.55pm on Tuesday (13 December).
The victim reported selling a PS5 to a man on Sunday (11 December) between 8pm and 8.15pm.
The offender was described as Asian, in his 20s/early 30s, of a large build, with a shaved head and a black beard.
He was also seen wearing a black body warmer, black tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.
In the second incident, the victim reported a man collected an iPhone 12 from an address off James Brindley Way, Burton-on-Trent, at around 1.30pm on Monday (12 December).
Inquiries are ongoing into both incidents and officers are currently reviewing CCTV of the areas at the times of these incidents.
Detective Sergeant Simon Street, of the Fraud Finance and Cyber Invest team at Staffordshire Police, said: “Whilst online buying and selling pages can be a good way to help make some extra money, we would always recommend that sellers check to ensure a payment has been cleared before handing over their item.
“When it comes to top tips for online buyers and sellers, always check your account or third-party payment facility to ensure a payment has been cleared before handing over or posting items.
“Do not use links or websites supplied by the buyer to check for payment, as these can also be forged and look genuine.
“Always use reputable payment methods and log in to payment providers directly on your device to verify you have received the payment.
“If a buyer makes feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to block them and report them to Facebook. Check when the Facebook profile was created, if it was created very recently, approach with caution.
“If you’re meeting to exchange items, ensure your safety, take a friend or relative, and arrange to meet in a busy public place.”
If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or online by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
It’s also important to report all fraud-related incidents to Action Fraud to help build a national picture and help prevent others falling victim to scams.