Police warn Derbyshire residents after recent spike in social media scams

Derbyshire residents have been warned by police following a recent increase in scammers targeting those who sell items on social media.

Friday, 29th July 2022, 4:56 pm
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 4:56 pm

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

In these scams a ‘buyer’ offers to pay the seller for goods – such as mobile phones and iPads – via bank transfer.

When the ‘buyer’ arrives to collect the item, they show a screenshot of an approved transaction and say that the money will be in the seller’s account in a few hours – but the money is never deposited.

Officers are urging social media users to be cautious.

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

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

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 selling electronics, make sure that you clear 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.

If you believe you may have fallen victim to any kind of fraud, then you can contact Action Fraud via their website or using the following contact methods:

Facebook – send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary

Twitter – direct message the force’s contact centre on @DerPolContact

Website – complete the online contact form

Phone – call 101

You can also anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.