Woman “gutted” after con artists “bought” items from Facebook Marketplace using fake banking app

A woman who was the victim of another Facebook scam that cost her £ 130 has warned others to “be careful”.

Merseyside Police have confirmed they are investigating an allegation of fraud in St Helens after two women were targeted by crooks over the weekend.

The reported incidents follow a similar theme which involves “buyer’s sisters” arriving at the seller’s home to purchase an item from the Facebook marketplace, and then using a “fake” bank account to make the payment.

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Lucy Barnes, from St Helens, was selling a Nintendo Switch Lite for £ 130 on Facebook Marketplace and was approached by a Facebook account asking her to come pick up the item the next day.

Two women arrived at Lucy’s house on Saturday October 16 to pick up the console and introduced themselves as the buyer’s sisters.

Lucy told ECHO: “The girl I handed it to said ‘oh my god this is really brand new isn’t it’ so I said ‘yes I don’t ‘ve only had a few months “.

“Then she said it was for her brother and that he was very picky, so she offered to come and see the condition of the item for him – so she said ‘can I pay by wire transfer? ‘

“I’m anxious and felt embarrassed when they asked, so I just accepted.

“She started typing details into what I thought was her banking app and then she said ‘actually it would be better if you did.’

Lucy entered her bank details into the woman’s phone and said she even joked about Lucy’s ability to remember her bank details.

The woman asked her to confirm the price and showed Lucy the screen with the payment confirmation and even invited her to take a photo of the fake transaction to prove that she had paid.

Lucy, who lives in Parr, added: “I just thought that was it, so I said ‘thank you’ and she said ‘would you like to take a photo of the transaction as proof of payment? “so I did and then they left.”

Lucy said that as soon as she closed her front door, she knew something was wrong about the meeting.

After verifying her account and seeing that the money had not been sent, she panicked and resumed the conversation with the original buyer to inform them that the money had not been spent.

Lucy said: “He said he quit the chat and when I tried to click on his profile it didn’t help me so he blocked me!

“I was in shock and immediately called the police to explain the situation to them.

“I am really so drained, I feel so gullible that I fell into the trap, but I won’t make the same mistake again.”

Following the realization, Lucy posted on a St Helens community Facebook page to warn others in the area and received comments from people in the borough who had experienced something similar or claimed to know people who l ‘had lived.

Within 24 hours of Lucy’s post, another local took to Facebook to report the exact same thing that had happened to them, but managed to admit it was a scam before releasing the ‘bought’ Nintendo Switch pack of £ 250.

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Rach Rae from St Helens said two women who claimed to be the buyer’s sisters arrived to collect the package and she told ECHO she was “lucky not to fall into the trap”.

Rachel said: “[The woman] paid by wire transfer and I wouldn’t let her take it until it hits my account.

“She said she would open the shop and come back and it should be on my account.”

“Then two guys in a black car picked them up.”

Rach posted images to Facebook, including a photo the women asked him to take of the screenshot of the £ 250 processed translation.

Both women said the crooks spoke with an Irish accent and pretended to be the sisters of the man whose buyers are being contacted.

They also identified one of the “sisters” as wearing braces and both witnessed a black car the girls got out of.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police confirmed they were investigating the fraud allegations and said the suspects were described as white with Irish accents – one in their twenties and one in their late teens, all two wearing hooded fur coats.

The two Facebook posts met a number of other residents with similar experiences, but some incidents were said to have been committed by two men and another report by a man and a woman.

One resident commented: “The same thing has happened to me twice.

“In both cases, they were men with fake Facebook accounts, luckily I realized what they were up to before handing anything over to them.”

The Facebook Marketplace scam spreads beyond the borough, however, as Sussex Police sent a warning in September after a shopper, who identified himself as Peter Shyne, arrived at people in following a purchase agreement on an item that was advertised on Facebook.

The scam, which was reported by residents of the West and East Sussex area, involved the same routine where the man showed a bank app with a payment confirmation which was later proven by police to be a fake account .

The man involved was described as wearing a face mask and a baseball cap.

Detective Inspector Holly Chance of the Merseyside Police Economic Crime Team said: ‘We want to speak to anyone who may have been a victim of a similar offense, or who lives locally and can have captured images of suspects on CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage.

“We regularly visit victims of home fraud to provide them with additional support and advice to help prevent further crime.

“If you have been or have been the victim of fraud, or if you feel that you or someone you love has been scammed, please contact us. “

If anyone thinks they have been the victim of any type of fraud, they can contact Action Fraud through their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling the police at 101 @MerPolCC or the Crimestoppers confidential line on 0800 555 111.

Police have issued the following tips to prevent people from falling victim to fraudsters:

• Beware of unexpected calls, whether at the door or on the phone in case it is a scam

• Never let callers enter your home without verifying their identity

• Do not immediately accept an offer or a job without first seeking advice.

• Do not share your personal or financial information with someone who calls unexpectedly

A spokesperson for UK Finance, a trade association for the UK banking and financial services industry, confirmed he was aware of this type of scam in various parts of the country and said fraud was a growing problem in the UK. UK.

Facebook Marketplace offers advice to buyers and sellers on how to use the site safely.

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About Nancy Owens

Nancy Owens

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