shopping scam warning issued by police to Burnham residents
have this week warned Internet shoppers in the Burnham-On-Sea
area to beware of web scams being used to gain cash from people.
scam, involving the online payment service PayPal, highlights
the dangers of sending out goods you are selling online before
you have received any money.
visit sites such as eBay, posing as genuine buyers and tricking
people into sending their property to an address in the belief
it has already been paid for.
fake buyers offer a price for something they want and then say
they will make a payment through PayPal.
these fake buyers then send sellers fraudulent PayPal emails that
look very 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.
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 Avon and Somerset Constabulary's financial
investigation unit, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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
you do receive correspondence from PayPal or even a site like
eBay and you are not sure if it is genuine, you can always ring
those companies directly and find out. The awful thing about this
scam is that not only do the sellers lose their property, but
often they are left out of pocket because they have paid large
sums of money for post and packaging, especially those selling
best way to avoid being a victim of this type of fraud is to not
send any goods out until you can see the funds in your PayPal
account. If you can't see it, simply wait."
second scam involves bogus Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)
companies who get in contact with people under the pretence of
assisting in a PPI claim they are entitled to. These criminals
then get victims to pay fees up front for services that are never
will usually ask for these 'fees' in the form of vouchers or by
transfer through Western Union.
Brunt says: "It is important to remember that a genuine company
will generally never ask for any money or payment to be made before
you have received your compensation from your lender either by
cheque or by payment into your bank account."
"They will also never ask anyone to make payment by any form
of voucher system or wire transfer including UKASH and Western
Union. Normal practise is for recipients of a PPI claim make payments
after you have received an invoice from us in writing."
"If you are a PPI customer and you receive a telephone call
asking you to make a payment or buy vouchers, hang up and call
the company back via the official phone number."
you think you may have been a victim of web scammers please report
it to Burnham Police using the non emergency number 101 or contact
your local Trading Standards department at Somerset County Council.