The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has revealed that fraudsters are increasingly exploiting the family and friends personal transaction facility to defraud victims.
With more than £13,000 lost since the start of January 2016, police are teaming up with the NFIB to raise awareness in a bid to prevent residents across the county falling victim.
In the latest scam victims attempt to purchase a variety of goods online, including high value electronics, clothing and footwear. The criminals then request the payment through the family and friends payment option on PayPal offering a range of excuses, such as being unable to receive the funds until 21 days later.
After payment, the victim loses contact with the suspect and later finds that the goods are not delivered. By using this service, the victim is unable to raise a dispute as it is not protected by buyer protection, meaning that the victim may be unable to retrieve the funds transferred.
PayPal users are encouraged to follow the below advice to help them to stay safe from fraudsters:
When paying via PayPal for goods or services, always pay by commercial transactions (goods or services) to receive buyer protection. Disputes can be raised and the funds claimed back if the goods are undelivered or services not rendered.
Only use the ‘family and friends’ payment method to send money to family members or trusted friends. Be wary of sending money to someone that you do not know.
Avoid making payments through bank transfer or money transfer services, as the payment may not be recoverable.
Report the offence to PayPal to make them aware of the transaction so that the appropriate steps can be taken.
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
For more advice around fraud and to watch a victim’s account of romance fraud, visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud webpage by Clicking here