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  • FIRST POST
    • michaelm
    • By michaelm 21st Sep 16, 8:23 PM
    • 51Posts
    • 5Thanks
    michaelm
    Looks like I've been the victim of an elaborate fraud on Gumtree
    • #1
    • 21st Sep 16, 8:23 PM
    Looks like I've been the victim of an elaborate fraud on Gumtree 21st Sep 16 at 8:23 PM
    I saw an item for sale on Gumtree which I was interested in buying. It was expensive and not priced so low as too alert my suspicions. I agreed a price with the seller, who provided me with a copy of his driving licence, passport and a bank statement from Barclays. Looking back on it, I probably should have been suspicious then as the account details on the statement were blacked out and so I had no way of checking the account details he later gave me matched the ones on the statement. So as far as I was concerned, everything looked to be totally above board. The last I was in contact with the seller was yesterday when he emailed me to say the item had been shipped with DHL through a work account, and that it was to be delivered this Friday. I asked for a tracking number and he assured me that he had the tracking number and would email me it when he got home from work. I never received the promised email.

    So today, I received a number of emails from Gumtree saying:


    It has been flagged/reported that the user who posted that ad may be involved in suspicious activity and/or in breaching the Gumtree Terms of Use. We are investigating this matter, but want you to be safe in the meantime. If you are still in contact with the user, we recommend that you consider the advice below:
    • If you have not shared any personal information with this user, you don't need to do anything. Your email address is protected by Gumtree and they won't be able to contact you.
    • If you have sent any personal information to this user, like your bank details or date of birth, you could be at risk.
    • If you have sent an item or money to this user please contact us on help@gumtree.com


    So, of course, I fall into the last category. I can't believe I was stupid enough to fall for this. But what could I have done to ensure he was genuine or not? He supplied what I thought were very good, convincing credentials. Ok, so I never got a phone number. But even if I did, I don't think it would've made any difference.


    So what do I do now? I've replied to Gumtree's emails so they will do what they need to at their end. But I would like to speak to Barclays as well, to see if the account is legit or not. But I'm pretty sure that the account details he supplied were not for Barclays, probably not even in this country.


    I feel a real pillock.
Page 1
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 21st Sep 16, 8:40 PM
    • 14,529 Posts
    • 19,516 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 8:40 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Sep 16, 8:40 PM
    There is nothing you can do. If you paid by bank transfer, then the money is gone.

    Gumtree is for face to face transactions where the buyer views the goods then pays cash.

    How much is a lot of money?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • michaelm
    • By michaelm 21st Sep 16, 9:21 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    michaelm
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:21 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:21 PM
    There is nothing you can do. If you paid by bank transfer, then the money is gone.

    Gumtree is for face to face transactions where the buyer views the goods then pays cash.

    How much is a lot of money?
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    Over £700.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 21st Sep 16, 9:22 PM
    • 9,299 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:22 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:22 PM
    There is nothing you can do. If you paid by bank transfer, then the money is gone.

    Gumtree is for face to face transactions where the buyer views the goods then pays cash.

    How much is a lot of money?
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    This.

    Face to face means exactly that, as you've now learned first hand.
    "I suggest you read who's thread this is and you will find its MINE". sic
    • michaelm
    • By michaelm 21st Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    michaelm
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:27 PM
    There is nothing you can do. If you paid by bank transfer, then the money is gone.

    Gumtree is for face to face transactions where the buyer views the goods then pays cash.

    How much is a lot of money?
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    I spoke to my bank, Scamtander, and they have already explained it all to me. The account I paid the money into is a bonafide Barclays account. Thats what is most surprising about all of this. If it were me, I'd have given offshore or foreign bank account details for scamming people through.

    They said they will contact Barclays and have the account locked, and any available money in the account will be divided among any people he has scammed. So I have , according to them, a chance of getting all, some or none of my money back. Hmmm. They also said to put it behind me and to console myself that it wasn't a hell of a lot more. That I never gave any other details other than my name and address was a bonus as well.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 21st Sep 16, 9:49 PM
    • 9,299 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:49 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:49 PM
    I'm taking it you did pay by BT.

    Your only avenue now is Gumtree (pointless) and Action Fraud (slightly less so) but at least the latter may give you some hope that any previous/future frauds may be linked and something may be prosecuted. Unfortunately your money is long gone and not retrievable.
    "I suggest you read who's thread this is and you will find its MINE". sic
    • soolin
    • By soolin 21st Sep 16, 10:10 PM
    • 57,454 Posts
    • 40,575 Thanks
    soolin
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 16, 10:10 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 16, 10:10 PM
    I spoke to my bank, Scamtander, and they have already explained it all to me. The account I paid the money into is a bonafide Barclays account. Thats what is most surprising about all of this. If it were me, I'd have given offshore or foreign bank account details for scamming people through.

    They said they will contact Barclays and have the account locked, and any available money in the account will be divided among any people he has scammed. So I have , according to them, a chance of getting all, some or none of my money back. Hmmm. They also said to put it behind me and to console myself that it wasn't a hell of a lot more. That I never gave any other details other than my name and address was a bonus as well.
    Originally posted by michaelm
    I'm surprised at what Santander told you as they have no ability to persuade Barclays to lock any account. In fact Barclays will struggle to do anything as you sent the money willingly so until fraud is proved the account is safe from interference.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 22nd Sep 16, 7:25 AM
    • 1,070 Posts
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    bxboards
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:25 AM
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:25 AM
    Unfortunately fraudulent sales on work Gumtree only work if you ignore the warnings plastered over every Gumtree ad.

    Each ad. has a stay safe box, for example:

    'Stay Safe

    "Meet face to face, never send payment for items you've not seen"'

    or

    'Stay Safe

    "Meet face to face, never send payment for items you've not seen"'


    The long and the short of it, and sorry to be blunt, is that you have essentially enabled this fraud by failing to heed the warnings. Your money is lost. You wouldn't hand 700 pounds to a stranger in the street, yet sadly people seem bend over backwards to do this online. I am not sure why.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but to my mind, you actions are rather like crossing a road with your eyes shut then wondering why you got knocked down.
    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 22nd Sep 16, 7:57 AM
    • 4,321 Posts
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    I have spoken
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:57 AM
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:57 AM
    Also report to Action Fraud - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us

    An expensive lesson
    Last edited by I have spoken; 22-09-2016 at 8:00 AM.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 22nd Sep 16, 9:35 AM
    • 57,454 Posts
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    soolin
    I am extremely sorry for the OP and think that this sort of story needs to be seen prominently in places like MSE where other people, perhaps new to the internet, or not sure about safety issues, can see it and perhaps be warned to be more cautious when parting with money.

    The thread title though is misleading, this is not an elaborate fraud, in fact it is the most common of all and one that 99.9% of people would recognise instantly as a scam. It's been around since the old days of postal orders , then Western Union, via paypal to bank transfers- it is covered over and over again in main stream newspapers and online chat rooms.

    I hate the sort of person that scams like this, I believe them to be the lowest of the low and I hope karma comes back and bites them- ultimately though we owe it to ourselves to stay safe, if we all were fully aware of money safety then these scumbag scammers would soon go out of business .
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 22nd Sep 16, 9:47 AM
    • 1,070 Posts
    • 863 Thanks
    bxboards
    I am extremely sorry for the OP and think that this sort of story needs to be seen prominently in places like MSE where other people, perhaps new to the internet, or not sure about safety issues, can see it and perhaps be warned to be more cautious when parting with money .
    Originally posted by soolin
    I agree with the sentiment but I don't think it would work.

    If they ignore the warnings on the site they are trying to purchase from, I think we can assume they would also ignore warnings elsewhere.

    I think there is only so much handholding that can be done.

    It would help if Action Fraud acutally acted or financial fraud was taken seriously, but sadly it will not be investigated. I would like to see prosecutions, jail sentences, and proceeds of crime confiscations, but it seems nobody has the will to enforce the law in this country anymore, and sadly like pyramid schemes, time share, binary trading and other scams, people will always ignore warnings and think 'it can't happen to me'....
    • Stevie Palimo
    • By Stevie Palimo 22nd Sep 16, 9:50 AM
    • 2,553 Posts
    • 3,723 Thanks
    Stevie Palimo
    Also report to Action Fraud - http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us

    An expensive lesson
    Originally posted by I have spoken
    And why would you do this then ?

    Action fraud do nothing at all so is a complete waste of your time and effort that may only get peoples hopes up for a resolution against the issue in hand.
    " I refuse to censor myself because it may offend someone. If you don't like me that's ok, I don't need your approval. "
    • soolin
    • By soolin 22nd Sep 16, 10:14 AM
    • 57,454 Posts
    • 40,575 Thanks
    soolin
    I agree with the sentiment but I don't think it would work.

    If they ignore the warnings on the site they are trying to purchase from, I think we can assume they would also ignore warnings elsewhere.

    I think there is only so much handholding that can be done.

    It would help if Action Fraud acutally acted or financial fraud was taken seriously, but sadly it will not be investigated. I would like to see prosecutions, jail sentences, and proceeds of crime confiscations, but it seems nobody has the will to enforce the law in this country anymore, and sadly like pyramid schemes, time share, binary trading and other scams, people will always ignore warnings and think 'it can't happen to me'....
    Originally posted by bxboards
    I do accept what you are saying, I suppose I always worry in case people like the OP are vulnerable in some way. I have a couple of Facebook business pages and one of them has a number of people that I would consider vulnerable- just a bit naÔve is probably a better description. They often copy me in on the round Robin scams on Facebook telling me how all I have to do is send a text to 'this' number and I can get a free £100 Tesco voucher, or telling e that if I give all my personal details (including my mothers maiden name!) to this site I can have a free holiday. At least once a week I am having to warn someone that there post is in fact a scam, and they are likely to be signed up for an expensive phone text service or have their details harvested by scammers.

    On one of the selling sites I warned people about a very obvious scam involving expensive handbags- it was so obviously a scam but all I got for my trouble was a warning from admin that I would be removed from the site for interfering.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 22nd Sep 16, 10:20 AM
    • 7,662 Posts
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    Cornucopia
    If there is another angle on this, it is that some people do not understand that in an era where virtually everything online is ultimately traceable (certainly within the mainstream), our banking system has a rather older, freer culture in which certain kinds of transactions (most of them, in fact) are largely untraceable in the face of routine fraud and often irreversible.

    I think it would be great if one or more of the banks could get together on this and introduce reversible low-value transactions, but I don't think that would have helped the OP, as I cannot see any bank being willing to underwrite a £700 transfer. I suppose the other option is to restrict the maximum value of a one-off bank transfer, and have higher values protected under some kind of verified destination scheme.

    The essential message has to be that when using the UK banking system, it is sensible to assume that your transaction is untraceable and irreversible and take other precautions accordingly (the most obvious being the use of a proper trading platform such as eBay, and/or protected funds transfer such as Paypal).
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 22-09-2016 at 10:26 AM.
    57 channels and the Beeb ain't one.

    From 1 September 2016, you need a TV Licence to watch TV via BBC iPlayer.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 22nd Sep 16, 10:23 AM
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    Cornucopia
    On one of the selling sites I warned people about a very obvious scam involving expensive handbags- it was so obviously a scam but all I got for my trouble was a warning from admin that I would be removed from the site for interfering.
    Originally posted by soolin
    This is the kind of thing I find so frustrating - when the relevant authority cannot be bothered to do a little bit of investigation into shutting down fraud on their own platform.
    57 channels and the Beeb ain't one.

    From 1 September 2016, you need a TV Licence to watch TV via BBC iPlayer.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 22nd Sep 16, 10:40 AM
    • 57,454 Posts
    • 40,575 Thanks
    soolin
    If there is another angle on this, it is that some people do not understand that in an era where virtually everything online is ultimately traceable (certainly within the mainstream), our banking system has a rather older, freer culture in which certain kinds of transactions (most of them, in fact) are largely untraceable in the face of routine fraud and often irreversible.

    I think it would be great if one or more of the banks could get together on this and introduce reversible low-value transactions, but I don't think that would have helped the OP, as I cannot see any bank being willing to underwrite a £700 transfer. I suppose the other option is to restrict the maximum value of a one-off bank transfer, and have higher values protected under some kind of verified destination scheme.

    ).
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    I don't think we need that at all as it would open a whole new scam- people accepting payment for things legitimately and then having the transaction reversed once services or goods have been supplied. I am happy with the current system, it is just I feel people should be more aware that bank transfers are only to be used when the recipient is known and trustworthy
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 22nd Sep 16, 10:49 AM
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    Cornucopia
    The issue is that people clearly either don't know that, or as is kind of the case with the OP, falsely assume on the basis of false evidence that the seller is trustworthy when they are not.

    There are two procedural issues here: control over the money and validation of the identity of the seller. In some scenarios, the identity of the buyer might also need to be verified. In the event of an issue with any of that, there also needs to be an escalation point.

    All of this works very well with AliExpress, for example, and in my experience most issues are resolved quickly and amicably without the need for intervention by the platform.

    There's no getting away from those requirements, and I suppose the real question is: how could a level of protection be provided at a reasonable cost? Or in other words, which orientation for such transactions presents the least likelihood of fraud - control by the Seller or control by the Buyer?

    I'm inclined to think that control by the Buyer is better, in that they would be placing cash into escrow, which is a gesture of partial trust in the transaction, potentially involving a secure means of payment.
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 22-09-2016 at 10:54 AM.
    57 channels and the Beeb ain't one.

    From 1 September 2016, you need a TV Licence to watch TV via BBC iPlayer.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 23rd Sep 16, 9:13 AM
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    Cornucopia
    Which? have made a super-complaint about this issue...

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/banking/2016/09/super-complaint-submitted-to-regulator-over-protection-for-victims-of-bank-transfer-scams
    57 channels and the Beeb ain't one.

    From 1 September 2016, you need a TV Licence to watch TV via BBC iPlayer.
    • lush walrus
    • By lush walrus 23rd Sep 16, 9:29 AM
    • 1,711 Posts
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    lush walrus
    And why would you do this then ?

    Action fraud do nothing at all so is a complete waste of your time and effort that may only get peoples hopes up for a resolution against the issue in hand.
    Originally posted by Stevie Palimo
    How do you know they do nothing? I had reason to report something to them and that was dealt with.
    • bxboards
    • By bxboards 23rd Sep 16, 9:34 AM
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    bxboards
    I do not see how the banks have any responsibility here? There have been no errors or mistakes on their part, and the buyer authorized the payment. Banks ultimatately do need to act on a customer's wishes.

    Unless a bank is given a duty to second guess every payment I can't see what they can do. Surely we would not expect the sending bank to reimburse the customer? If I lost a wallet in the street, I would not go running to the bank asking for them to give it back, and I do not see a whole lot of difference with people authorizing transactions in this case. The sender wanted to send the money to the recipient and the bank did as they were told.

    This looks to me at going for the wrong target.
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