Islanders are being warned to be on their guard against fraudsters operating in online marketplaces.
In the past few days islanders have been contacting police after being approached by scammers on Jersey Insight.
The scam involves Islanders who are selling items for relatively small sums of money being contacted by prospective buyers, who then attempt to obtain large sums of money from them.
The scam operates with the “buyer” stating that they want the item advertised and would like to arrange for an agent to come and collect it.
The seller is asked for their personal details so the agent can meet them. The buyer then sends a cheque in excess of the required amount to the seller’s home address and will apologise for inadvertently putting the incorrect sum on the cheque.
The scammers offer the buyer a small extra fee "for their trouble" if they bank the cheque, take their sale fee and then either hand over the goods bought and the excess money to an agent or pay the excess cash into an account, with the goods being collected later on.
The scam operates by persuading the victim to give their own money to the scammers who have no intention of collecting the goods. Such scams do emerge from time to time.
In a few cases, but not all, islanders have given their bank account details to scammers, but most people have been alert to the scam and have not done so.
Crime Prevention Officer Jeremy House said: “Unless you are completely sure of any transaction on open online marketplaces, do not enter into any agreement with any person or company. Never agree to send off money, or part with personal information to a stranger. Beware of scammers who want your money. If the transaction does not seem correct, do not become involved. We want everyone to be aware of these scams.’
Barna Kutvolgyi, Managing Director of the Global Consumer Business Unit at JT, who operate Jersey Insight, said: “It is unfortunate that sadly from time to time classified listings of any type and online marketplaces can fall victim to fraudsters targeting their users at one time or another. Jersey Insight is a widely used local online portal that attracts over 88,000 unique visits and around 7.5 million page views each month. Thankfully given the amount of people using the site, the number of scams reported is extremely small in comparison to the number of successful transactions made through it each year.
“We take any fraud such as this exceptionally seriously, and we would like to take this opportunity to reassure our customers that we do all we can to prevent scams wherever possible - but we would ask all users also to remain vigilant and if they feel
the authenticity of any product, buyer or seller is in question they should contact us immediately.
“In line with the States of Jersey Police we endorse their advice that anyone using Jersey Insight, or any other open marketplace in general to remain vigilant, question anything that seems too good to be true and above all else never share any personal information, especially bank details with any buyer or seller.”
Any suspicious postings to Jersey Insight should be reported to
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