People in Gedling borough selling items online are falling victim to a new type of advance fee fraud, say scam busters Action Fraud.
The latest scam involves a fraudster – posing as a buyer – sending an email to the online seller (victim) which states they are prepared to pay the full asking price of the item they are trying to sell.
They state that they are unable to collect the item themselves and will arrange for a courier to pick it up instead.
The fraudster then sends a fake payment confirmation email from a different email address, one which falsely purports to be from a payment platform like PayPal.
In the course of the email exchange, a request is sent to the seller to pay the courier fee. Once the payment is made then contact is broken, the item is not picked up and the money paid for the “courier” is gone.
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An example of the most recent emails received by a victim/seller, from the ‘buyer’, read:
“I want you to consider this a deal as i am (sic) willing to pay your full asking price! i actually want to buy it for a family member who is urgently in need of it, i have checked through your posting and i’m fully satisfied with it. Unfortunately, i would not be able to come personally to view/collect, i work offshore as an instructor on a oil rig so i dont have time at all, but like i said i am 100% OK with the advert”
A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “Be wary when buyers wish to purchase items at the full asking price without viewing them. Check the validity of the payment receipt confirmation.
“Avoid paying an advanced fee if you are a seller; should you choose to use a courier, arrange your own.
Always check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller or buyer. Feedback will give you useful information about recent transactions other buyers and sellers have made.”
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.