ONLINE SELLING: Police are urging online sellers not to hand over items until the payment is fully verified.
ONLINE SELLING: Police are urging online sellers not to hand over items until the payment is fully verified. herraez

Selling your goods online can be very risky

POLICE are warning seniors to be aware of who they sell items to online as the process can carry an expensive risk for the seller.

The scam goes like this -

  • An unsuspecting seller posts an item for sale online, often on the website Gumtree.
  • A purchaser makes contact with the seller and requests to purchase the item sight unseen.
  • The purchaser then insists on transferring the purchase price by electronic bank transfer, straight away.
  • They then become an offender by sending the seller, now a victim, a photograph of a fake online banking transfer receipt and a fraudulently obtained copy of an innocent victim's drivers licence purporting to be the person buying the item.
  • Then the offender insists on sending a third party, usually a legitimate courier or delivery service, to collect the item immediately from the victim.
  • The victim parts with the item only to find that the purchase money never reaches the victim's bank account and all the respective account numbers and references on the transfer receipt are false.

The police advise this scam is usually done on higher value items ranging from $1000 to $25,000. Items include cars, machinery and mechanical parts.

Some offenders have previously been charged with such offences. Now it appears details of the scam have filtered out to numerous other criminals and it is believed that use of the scam is increasing.

Acting Detective Sergeant Russ Connor of Queensland's Sunshine Coast Police warns everyone should be on the watch for this scam, including seniors.

Police are urging sellers not to hand over items until the payment is fully verified as having actually reached their bank account and not accepting a copy of a transfer receipt.

The police are also asking people to be very careful about who they send copies of their identification to as these details are regularly ending up in the hands of fraudsters.

To report any information in relation to persons involvement in this type of scam, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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