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Police warn people not to fall for Facebook Marketplace scam

SCAM: People are being warned about the dangers of selling items on Facebook Marketplace.
SCAM: People are being warned about the dangers of selling items on Facebook Marketplace.

PEOPLE are being scammed when selling mobile phones on Facebook Marketplace, police warn.

West Mercia Police officers have warned people of a fraudulent banking app scammers are using to make sellers believe they have paid for items.

It comes after a 'scared' St John's dad warned others not to fall prey to 'a clever conman' who tricked him out of his mobile phone.

The father, who did not wish to be named, said he tried to sell an iPhone 14 over Facebook Marketplace - but despite parting with the phone has yet to receive a penny.

Police say con artists respond to adverts on Facebook Marketplace and arrange to meet the person selling a high-value mobile phone.

They then use a fake banking app to show the victim the money has been transferred and fraudulently take the item.

West Mercia Police called the con an 'emerging trend' and said it is receiving more reports from across the counties it covers.

A spokesperson said: "In the last two weeks West Mercia Police has seen an emerging trend of fraud banking app thefts across the force area.

"Offenders arrange to meet individuals via Facebook Marketplace, with the agreement to purchase high value items that the individual has advertised for sale such as mobile phones.

"Offenders then use a fake banking app which shows the victim that the money transfer has been successful when in fact it hasn't.

"Goods are then taken from the victim fraudulently.

"We advise that you always follow guidance by your service provider and always check that the funds are in your account before you hand any items."