Police warn Derbyshire residents after recent spike in social media scams

Derbyshire Police have reported that the number of scams targeting social media sellers has recently increased.

In these scams, a “buyer” offers to pay the seller for goods – such as cell phones and iPads – by bank transfer.

When the ‘buyer’ arrives to pick up the item, he shows a screenshot of an approved transaction and says the money will be in the seller’s account in a few hours – but the money is never deposited .

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Officers urge social media users to be cautious.

Anyone selling goods online should check with their bank that any payment has cleared their account before handing over the goods.

Derbyshire Police have issued the following advice for those buying or selling online:

View Person Profile – learn more about the person you are buying/selling from. You can see if there are any friends you have in common, recent activity, and reviews they may have received.

Use cash, PayPal, or person-to-person payment methods. When you sell an item, consider asking for full payment instead of installments.

If you as the seller accept a wire transfer, wait for the funds to clear before handing over the goods.

Inspect the item and, if possible, be sure to test it thoroughly before purchasing.

Protect your personal information – we strongly advise against sharing personal information, such as your payment login and password information or bank account information. If you sell electronic devices, be sure to erase all personal information from the device.

Report someone – Marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and eBay allow you to report someone if they violate their standards or policies.

If you believe you have been the victim of any type of fraud, you can contact Action Fraud through their website or using the following contact methods:

Facebook – send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary

Twitter – send a direct message to the force contact center on @DerPolContact

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