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Police issue advice when buying or selling items online

Image credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels.

Police are warning of a recent scam where people have advertised items for sale on social media and the 'buyer' has offered to pay via bank transfer.

When they arrive to collect the item, they show a screenshot of an approved transaction, and say that the money will be in the account in a few hours, however the money is never deposited.

Anyone selling goods online is asked to check with their banks that any payments have cleared in their accounts before handing over goods.

When buying or selling online, Derbyshire Police have issued this advice for people to follow: 

  • View the person's profile- learn more about the person you are buying from/selling to. You can see if there are friends you have in common, recent activity and any ratings they may have received.
  • Use cash, PayPal or person-to-person payment methods. When selling an item, consider asking for full payment instead of instalments.
  • If you as the seller are happy to accept a bank transfer, wait for the funds to clear before handing over the goods.
  • Inspect the item and if possible, make sure to thoroughly test it before buying it.
  • Protect your personal information- we strongly advise against sharing personal information, such as your payment login and password details or bank account information. If you're selling electronics, make sure that you've cleared any personal information from the device
  • Report a person: selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay allow you to report a person if they go against their standards or policies.

Anyone who believes they may have fallen victim to any kind of fraud can contact Action Fraud via their website or use the following contact methods to get in touch with Derbyshire Police: 

You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111, or by visiting the CrimeStoppers website.

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