Warning to website and social media sellers following reports of banking fraud
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Leicestershire Police is urging people using selling websites and social media to sell items to remain vigilant following an increase in reports of banking fraud.
Between July and October, a number of reports have been received of buyers using a fake banking app, which makes it look like money has been transferred when it has not.
The incidents have involved the victims being asked to put their bank details into a fake app on a buyer’s phone when meeting to hand over the item. The app produces a screen which states the money has been successfully been transferred.
Victims have reported that when they check their account, no money has been received.
Thirteen reports have been received from victims living in Leicestershire – as well as the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Buckinghamshire and South Wales.
The incidents are being investigated by the force’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU). We are advising sellers to be mindful of the below before agreeing to hand over an item:
Check the buyer’s review history and feedback from other reviewers. Beware of accounts that may have been set up very recently with lots of favourable feedback that sounds similar as this could be an indication of fake reviews
Obtain a name and address of the buyer along with verifiable phone number
Consider meeting in a mutual location for the handover/sale of goods
Always use the site’s recommended payment site (such as PayPal) and read the terms and conditions to understand what you are protected against
Avoid direct bank transfers where possible. Use known third-party payment providers after checking terms and conditions
If payment is made via bank transfer, always check with your own bank if any payment is shown as pending
Keep hold of any property until you have received confirmation from your bank that the payment has been received successfully
Trust your instincts and decline the sale if you have any doubts
Allow a buyer to change the original agreed meeting place
Hand over any goods until money confirmed in your account. Even if the buyer states they wish to test the item
Allow the buyer to rush you in an effort to persuade you that payment has been made
Sergeant Pete Nichols said: “The reports we’ve received so far have included victims both from within our force area and further afield. While our investigations are continuing, we want to ensure sellers remain vigilant and are aware of what’s happening.
“If you have family or friends who are selling items through websites or social media, please pass this message on and ask that they too take extra care so they do not fall victim.”