NEXT time you sell something on Facebook Marketplace think twice before accepting a balance transfer.
Police have been alerted to a rising scam involving a fake banking app being used on unsuspecting victims.
Some buyers prefer to send money for goods via their bank's app.
They ask the seller to put in their transfer details when a person comes to collect.
This is a pretty common alternative to paying cash in hand.
But fraudsters have come up with a nasty plan that leaves sellers out of pocket.
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Instead of presenting their banking app on their phone, they use a fake app.
It appears to show the transfer as complete, so the buyer thinks the money has been sent.
When the seller questions it, the criminal pretends to call their bank and claims they're told it can take up to two hours for the funds to appear.
But the money never arrives.
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So the buyer gets away with your old stuff without paying a penny.
More than a dozen people fell victim within Leicestershire alone last year.
There have also been reports of it happening in the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Buckinghamshire and South Wales.
How to sell safely on Facebook Marketplace
Police have issued advice to sellers in a bid to prevent more people suffering the same loss.
You should always check a buyer's review history and feedback from other reviewers to see if there is anything suspicious.
Watch out for accounts that have been set up very recently with lots of favourable feedback too as it's probably too good to be true.
Get hold of the buyer's name, address and phone number when selling online.
Use the site's recommended form of payment – Facebook urges users to stick to cash and avoiding direct bank transfers.
If payment is made via bank transfer, always check with your own bank if any payment is shown as pending.
Keep hold of any property until you have received confirmation from your bank that the payment has been received successfully.
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Don't hand over any goods until money is confirmed in your account – even if the buyer states they wish to test the item.
And don't let them rush you in an effort to persuade you that payment has been made.
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