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Police warn of web scam
POLICE are warning internet shoppers in Bridgwater following reports of a web scam.
The scam, involving PayPal, highlights the dangers of sending out goods sold on-line before the seller receives any money.
Criminals visit sites such as e-Bay, or Gumtree, posing as genuine buyers and tricking people into sending their property to an address in the belief it has already been paid for.
The fake buyers offer a price for something they want and then say they will make a payment through PayPal.
PayPal allows users to set up an account and funds can be transferred into, or paid out. This eliminates the need to give out credit card or bank account numbers, making it a more secure method of payment.
The fraudsters send buyers fake PayPal emails that look genuine.
The email claims to be a notification of funds pending that will be paid into the sellers' PayPal account as soon as a tracking reference number is given to ensure the items have already been posted.
The sellers then post off their property and email a tracking number in the belief that the money has already been paid and is waiting to be transferred, but they never see a penny.
DC Greg Brunt, from the financial investigation unit, said: “This is probably the biggest of the purchasing cons that everyone falls for.
“But PayPal will NEVER send an email asking for a tracking reference number.
“If you do receive correspondence from PayPal or even a site like e-Bay and you are not sure if it is genuine, you can always ring those companies directly and find out.”
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