Online marketplaces can be great places to pick up bargains, source hard to find items and offload things you no longer need and get paid too. But like fleas on a dog they have their fair share of scammers too.

The nature of the scams varies but the ultimate aim is to get your money. Two con tricks recently discovered are below.
  • A seller is contacted by someone saying they want to buy what the seller has posted for sale. They claim they are in another country, typically the US, but the item can be sent to a family member in the UK.
  • The ‘buyer’ then asks the seller to continue discussing the sale via a private messaging platform like WhatsApp.
  • Following a short exchange the buyer claims the money has been sent but it couldn’t be credited to the seller’s account until they provide details of the delivery tracking number.
  • The seller then receives an email that seems to be from a legitimate US-based bank asking for the tracking number. However, this is the scam. The thief is trying to get the package tracking number.
A variation on this scam is one in which the buyer says an ‘agent’ will collect the item from the seller’s home.
  • The seller receives a fake email from PayPal confirming that the payment has been made by the buyer.
  • A short time later the buyer says the agent could only schedule the pickup after they received a collection fee of £100 and it the payment must be paid in cryptocurrency, which screams scam.
How many agents, companies, shops or more only accept payment in cryptocurrency? None.