Marketplace scammers aiming to trick Derbyshire sellers
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Our fraud-fighting puppet Claude features in a new video to scare scammers away from sellers in Derbyshire.
In the video, created after seeing a county-wide spike in instances of sellers being left out of pocket by bogus buyers, Claude stops a young student from sending their beloved Hot Fuzz DVD before receiving trusted proof of payment.
A scam tactic commonly reported to us, is that the buyer, handily named Mr P I Staker in our video, claims their bank won’t send funds before receiving proof of postage.
Fortunately, Claude is on hand to remind the student of the advice ‘Stop. Think. Tell.’ prompting Connor to think twice and avoid the scam.
Tammy Barnes, Derbyshire Constabulary’s Fraud Protect Officer, said: “As we approach Christmas, we know people are looking for ways to raise some cash and clear space in their homes.
“Unfortunately, this also means scammers are looking to target sellers on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or eBay. They will try to convince you to hand over your stuff without showing proof of payment, or even provide a fake bank transfer confirmation, to leave you out of pocket.
“Our advice is ‘Stop. Think. Tell.’ Don’t be rushed into any decisions and make sure the balance has appeared in your bank account or account with the selling site before sending your items.”
Our #SockItToTheScammers campaign launched earlier this year, with other videos focussing on issues such as romance fraud and fake police phone calls. The campaign has resulted in members of the public remembering the Stop. Think. Tell. advice and stopping the scam in its tracks.
Our latest video features social influencer Connor Rice, with the hope this will encourage young people to take note of the anti-scam message, as these crimes target people of all ages.
Recent cases in Derbyshire have shown just how much of an impact a marketplace scam can have, with sellers losing out on thousands of pounds by handing over items such as technology, jewellery and vehicles without receiving payment.
In Derbyshire, phones and laptops are the most common items that scammers will take without payment.
In the example of online marketplace fraud, whilst the scam might seem simple, it can often be effective by the scammer being pushy in messages and creating a false sense of urgency.
Tammy explained: “We have had cases where the scammer has been on the doorstep presenting a fake screenshot of a bank transfer to try and get the item. Please always check your own payment system, whether that’s PayPal or online banking, to confirm payment has been received.
“Always use your own trusted links, never follow a weblink supplied by the buyer. If someone is being intimidating, please contact us for further assistance.”
“If the sale doesn’t feel right, or you have concerns, always think of Claude and ‘Stop. Think. Tell.’”
If you think you, or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please report it to us via one of the following methods:
Facebook: send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter: direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact