Warning over cash buyer scam in Aylesbury Vale after sellers tricked out of their goods

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There have been several incidents where people were scammed into delivering their goods to thieves

Police in Aylesbury Vale have shared a warning over a scam where people advertising items for sale online are being tricked into handing over their goods to thieves.

The warning comes from Hertfordshire Constabulary, but Thames Valley Police say there have been victims in Aylesbury Vale too.

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The public are warned to think of personal safety and security first when considering travelling to meet someone to hand over property that has been advertised for sale online.

Police are warning online sellers to on their guardPolice are warning online sellers to on their guard
Police are warning online sellers to on their guard

Detective Sergeant John Prendergast, from the Hemel Hempstead Local Crime Unit, said: “We are seeing a sharp rise in instances of people advertising items for sale on online marketplaces and being tricked into delivering goods to thieves.

“We have had a number of incidents in recent times where items like iPhones, laptops, high-value shoes and even televisions have been stolen.

“When the victims, who sometimes have no local knowledge about the location they are visiting, arrive at the arranged meet-up points, they hand over the goods to potential purchasers for examination and the offenders run off with the item without paying for it.

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“In some cases, sellers are shown screenshots of bank transfers that have not been cleared and there have been incidents where the victims have been threatened.

“If you do want to use an online selling site, please exercise caution, especially in circumstances where payment has not been made in advance.

“Make sure you look at the buyer’s profile to check their history and that they have genuine details. If you are arranging to meet someone to sell or buy an item, always meet in a busy public place covered by CCTV and take someone else with you. However, I must stress that even taking these precautions may not prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

“It’s also worth being wary of people who offer to pay over the odds for an item. Many people use these sites to buy goods at a reduced price so, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

“If you have any suspicions or concerns about the person you are dealing with, walk away.”