Warning of web scammers

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 August 2012


CRIMINALS posing as buyers on sites such as e-Bay and Gumtree are tricking people to send their property without payment, according to police reports.

The first scam has seen fake buyers say they will make a payment through PayPal, used to make purchases online.

The user sets up an account which funds can be transferred into, eliminating the need to give out bank account numbers and making it more secure.

Criminals then send sellers fraudulent PayPal emails, claiming the funds will be paid into the account as soon as a tracking reference number is given.

The sellers then post off their property believing the money is waiting to be transferred, but they never see a penny.

Detective Constable Greg Brunt, from the financial investigation unit, said: “This is probably the biggest of the purchasing cons that everyone falls for. But PayPal will never send an email asking for a tracking reference number.

“The best way to avoid being a victim is to not send any goods out until you can see the funds in your PayPal account.”

The second scam involves bogus Payment Protection Insurance companies who call people insisting they are entitled to a claim. These criminals get victims to pay fees in the form of UKash vouchers or by transfer through Western Union.

If you have been a victim of web scammers call 101 or contact your Trading Standards department within your council.

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