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People of Tunstall take note, yet more web scam warnings

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This feels like it's becoming a daily job, but yet more web scams are coming to light.

A reminder to Tunstall residents to be on their guard against a scam which could cost them thousands of pounds.

People who legitimately advertise goods on the internet, in magazines or local newspapers are being targeted in the fraud across the country.

The buyer, who doesn't physically meet the seller, sends a cheque for the item which is significantly higher than the asking price. They instruct the seller to forward the additional money to a shipping agent via Western Union credit transfer.

The seller banks the cheque, which appears to have cleared, and sends on the additional money only to find shortly afterwards that the cheque was phony and they've lost the money they sent via Western Union.

Numerous Staffordshire residents have been targeted, including, most recently, a Cannock woman who was selling her horse on-line for £1,350 only to be sent a £2,900 cheque and asked to forward the difference to a shipping agent. Thankfully, she grew suspicious and did not forward the additional cash, or send the horse, and reported the matter to police.

Staffordshire Police fraud investigator DC Neil Powell, from Chase division, said: "These fraudsters, who are usually from foreign countries, have no intention of buying the goods advertised and are only interested in conning people out of large amounts of money. A tell-tale sign is that their emails often include poor English or bad grammar.

"If anyone receives a cheque which is higher than the asking price, they should check its legitimacy with their bank and always be cautious. You have to ask yourself, 'Why would someone I don't know trust me with thousands of pounds of their own money?'. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is."


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