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Gumtree scam resulted in my bank account being frozen

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sand_hun
sand_hun Posts: 156 Forumite
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edited 30 July 2021 at 10:17AM in Praise, vent & warnings
Two days ago my debit card was declined in a shop. I called my bank and was advised that the fraud team (APP Scams Team) were investigating an allegation made against me by another party. It concerns a credit transaction into my account a fortnight ago. They asked me to go into a branch and explain the transaction in person.

Two weeks ago, I listed an old mobile phone on Gumtree. An individual expressed interest. He text me saying he "needed a phone today and that he would get his dad to pay for it in advance via bank transfer."
I supplied my sort code / account number and the credit subsequently arrived into my account. Shortly afterwards a young lad came to collect the phone from my house. I met him outside and have evidence on my CCTV of our interaction - I can be seen handing him the phone. At the time I asked if he wanted to check to see if he was happy with the condition of the phone, but he declined - he didn't even take it out of the box to have a look.

I thought nothing more of it. Now, it seems the person who made the payment has raised a fraud complaint with their bank. Their bank contacted mine and the allegation alone has resulted in an 'inhibit' being placed on my account. I can no longer withdraw cash or make any kind of payments.

Anyone experienced similar?



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  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,490 Forumite
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    A common scam.

    You will find several  similar threads on this forum.
  • sand_hun
    sand_hun Posts: 156 Forumite
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    sheramber said:
    A common scam.

    You will find several  similar threads on this forum.

    Can you point me in the direction of those threads please? Would be interesting to see the replies. I performed a few searches but didn't come up with anything similar.
  • jon81uk
    jon81uk Posts: 3,789 Forumite
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    Most of the time the scammers use PayPal to do this but more people wised up on that.
    I would suggest if someone is collecting goods in person always use cash.

    There are lots of threads about gumtree and paypal issues. But I think people trying to claim fraud on a bank transfer is rarer.
    Paypal and Gumtree — MoneySavingExpert Forum
    Gumtree Paypal Buyer Scam — MoneySavingExpert Forum
    Gumtree scam, PayPal dispute / claim? — MoneySavingExpert Forum



  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,490 Forumite
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    It is not just on Gumtree. It is done on  ebay sales and facebook marketplace sales.

    There is always a reason they cam't use paypal or collect and suggest bank transfer.

    They then report  a fraud to their bank resulting in the sellers account being frozen by their bank while it is investigated.

    use the search function at the top of the page to search for other posts.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    I fail to see how this transaction could be viewed by the bank as fraudulent? Unless they can prove that the OP somehow gained access to the buyer's account and transferred the money to their own account. Or forced the transfer by making threats? 
    It might result in a temporary freeze while the bank investigates, but nothing beyond that.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • p3ncilsharpener
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    macman said:
    I fail to see how this transaction could be viewed by the bank as fraudulent? Unless they can prove that the OP somehow gained access to the buyer's account and transferred the money to their own account. Or forced the transfer by making threats? 
    It might result in a temporary freeze while the bank investigates, but nothing beyond that.
    Perhaps the account it came from isn't the "buyers" account?
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,555 Forumite
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    macman said:
    I fail to see how this transaction could be viewed by the bank as fraudulent? Unless they can prove that the OP somehow gained access to the buyer's account and transferred the money to their own account. Or forced the transfer by making threats? 
    The owner of the account denies making the transfer.  The sending bank doesn't know if Fraudster has obtained the details and is in active collaboration with the OP  or just made the purchase and OP is an innocent seller.  Or possibly the lad who has collected the phone is in collaboration with the owner of the account to rip off the OP.  The receiving bank also has to consider the first option.
    I need to think of something new here...
  • sand_hun
    sand_hun Posts: 156 Forumite
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    edited 30 July 2021 at 3:30PM
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    macman said:
    I fail to see how this transaction could be viewed by the bank as fraudulent? Unless they can prove that the OP somehow gained access to the buyer's account and transferred the money to their own account. Or forced the transfer by making threats?
    I raised this point with the bank. There's no evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, yet they have presumed me to be guilty by placing restrictions on my account.
    Their response was that they take all allegations of fraud seriously. They flipped it round and said if I'd make a similar complaint against someone, I'd expect action to be taken.

  • pbartlett
    pbartlett Posts: 1,397 Forumite
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    It is getting to the stage where bank transfers are not fit for purpose.
  • p3ncilsharpener
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    pbartlett said:
    It is getting to the stage where bank transfers are not fit for purpose.
    Well, they're absolutely fine as long as you only accept them from people you know and/or companies.

    I'm not particularly happy with banks becoming judge and jury over fraud claims, given how impossible it is to accurate make these decisions but it's not really any different than it was in the past, it's just that the recipients are now the victims rather than the senders.
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