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Gloucestershire Business News

Incidents of fraud via Facebook Marketplace

Police are issuing a warning following an incident of fraud which took place via Facebook Marketplace.

One recent incident saw a woman from Cheltenham conned out of £600 for the sale of a phone she advertised.

The woman arranged for a man to attend her address so that he could purchase the phone and when the buyer arrived, he stated that he would pay via online banking.

The victim gave her banking details, and the money was shown as deposited, so the phone was handed over as the victim believed payment had been made.

She later found that the man had cancelled the transfer and was no longer able to be contacted.

A number of similar incidents have taken place over recent months and people may not realise the risk they are taking when selling phones via the Marketplace.

The public are advised not to accept offers of payment in this way and to instead use a safer payment method such as Facebook Pay or cash.

Before using any online platform for buying or selling please check the processes they have in place to safeguard you from financial loss, if a transaction does not go to plan.

The police recognise that buy and sell pages can be a good way to make extra money and get rid of unwanted items in your house, but they would please ask you to consider the following tips when selling items in this way:

1) Meet the buyer in a public place that you know and are familiar with, maybe even a local car park or coffee shop/restaurant that you know is covered by CCTV.

2) Take a friend or relative along with you.

3) If you are feeling nervous or unsure about the situation you are in, maybe you could take a photo or video so that the buyer can later be identified if there is any dispute or theft.

If you have been a victim of this scam, please let police know by completing the following online form or calling 101: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/ 

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