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Neighbourhood Watch

Warning for anyone selling online

Do you use online sites to sell your stuff?  Action Fraud   has received reports that people selling items on online marketplace   websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers - especially those   selling furniture and homeware.


How does the fraud take place?


Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to   purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested   amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then   receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more   than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank   account.
  In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has   spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact   is then severed with the seller.


Anyone selling online has potential to be targeted by fraudsters   in this way, but the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified that   those selling sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly   vulnerable.


How to protect yourself:


Don’t   assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in   control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have   the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.


Don’t   be rushed or pressured into making a decision: Always verify that you have received payment from the   buyer before completing a sale.


Listen   to your instincts: Criminals will try   and make unusual behaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.


Visit   Take Five ( and Cyber Aware   ( for more information about how to protect yourself   online.  On Twitter? Follow @HCCyberProtect

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud,   report it to Action Fraud by visiting or by calling 0300 123 2040.


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