We are asking residents in Lincolnshire to remain vigilant following reports of fraud on Facebook MarketPlace.
Sellers have reportedly lost high-value items such as mobile phones, designer clothing and games consoles after being led to believe that payment has been made or is pending after releasing an item to the buyer.
The buyers in question may send fake screenshots of bank transfers or email confirmation as proof of payment. However, when the seller checks their online accounts, the payment is not there.
Stay safe from fraud
When accepting payments online, always check your account or third-party payment facility to ensure that payment has been cleared before handing over or posting the goods.
Do not use links or websites supplied by the buyer to check for payment, as these can also be forged and look genuine. Always log in to payment providers via a trusted route.
Whilst buy and sell pages can be a good way to reduce clutter and make some money, please always consider your safety, and follow these tips:
Meet the buyer in a busy public place that you are familiar with, potentially a café, shop or car park that you know is covered by CCTV.
Take a friend or relative with you.
If you are feeling nervous or unsure, you could take images or videos so that the buyer and items can be identified if there is any dispute or theft.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 120 2040 or online.