Facebook users targeted by fraudsters to sell stolen items on eBay
Police are warning people to be vigilant following reports of a scam which recruits people on Facebook, asking them for assistance with selling items online.
The scam in particular appears to target people from Eastern European communities.
The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) is investigating multiple reports of occasions where people have been recruited by a Facebook post to list and sell items originally obtained fraudulently on eBay.
The Facebook post, which is usually written in either Polish, Latvian, or Lithuanian, asks people to sell items on eBay on behalf of the account posting the ad. Those people recruited have done as requested, believing they will earn money as a result. However, they are actually selling stolen goods through eBay. When discovered, they receive chargebacks, leaving them in substantial debt and at risk of prosecution for offences of fraud and money laundering.
A number of reports of the scam have been linked to people living within the East of England.
Tal Stein, a financial investigator for ERSOU, said: “We’re asking people to be aware of this scam and not to sell items through their eBay accounts or make payments/receive funds through their PayPal accounts as a result of responding to online posts. The scammer seems to be targeting certain Eastern European communities, with the posts being written in the native languages.
“Please remember that if something seems too good to be true – such as the possibility of earning quick money from home - then it probably is.”
“If you believe that a post on Facebook may be a scam, please report it to the social network using the report button. If you think you may have been affected by this scam, or a similar one, please contact Action Fraud in the first instance.”
To contact Action Fraud, call 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.