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Online Marketplace Frauds - North East

Police have received reports of fraud from members of the public selling items online. In the most recent scam, the Moray victim advertised a mobile telephone for sale on an online marketplace.

The fraudster agreed to buy the phone, but being cautious, the victim asked for proof that funds had been sent. The victim received an e-mail from what appeared to be a known money transfer company stating funds were being held until proof of postage was sent. The victim believing this to be a genuine e-mail, sent the phone and proof of delivery only to find it was a scam. On further inspection of the e-mail, it was found to be similar but not the same e-mail linked to the genuine company.

North East Crime Reduction Officer, PC Richard Russell, said:

"When selling items online, there are a few things to consider:

  • CHECK BUYER’S PROFILE - It might be fake to buy goods. Look for activity, friends, where they are, reviews and any spelling mistakes in posts or profile.
  • AVOID SENDING GOODS VIA POST – Unless you are satisfied that you have received payment.
  • DO NOT SEND MONEY TO VERIFY TRANSFERS – Banks won’t need this.
  • IF MEETING IN PERSON - Meet somewhere you feel comfortable and in public.
  • IF RECEIVING CASH PAYMENT - Check the amount, ensure all is there and genuine notes.

"Before handing over any goods, check your own bank account to ensure the money has been received into your account. Do not believe emails or images shown to you by the buyer stating that the purchaser’s bank has transferred money.

"If something doesn’t seem right, or you are unsure about the buyer, don’t provide any details or goods and report to the relevant platform."

Original Message Sent By Richard Russell (Police Scotland, Police Constable, A Div - North East Crime Reduction Unit, Moray)

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