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Freecycle Con Trick?

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Online Fraud 02

Do you like to make use of the excellent online facilities for giving and receiving unwanted items free-of-charge in order to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill?

The best known of these online 'swap' sites is Freecycle, and there are local options for Aylesbury and for Thame & Wheatley.

Thames Valley Police have just issued this warning about a potential con trick:

Fraudsters are targeting online advertising platforms where items are acquired for free.

The fraudsters will list items on the website and advise any purchasers that they have recently moved from the area they were originally living in and can arrange a courier to dispatch the items for a fee.

The payment requested for this service is usually via Money Transfer such as MoneyGram or Western Union, or an e-money voucher. The items they were promised are not received and any attempts to contact the individual to gain a refund are unsuccessful.

How to Protect Yourself:

  • Stay within the auction guidelines stipulated on the website.
  • Ask to view the item in person.
  • Be cautions of making advance payments to a stranger via Money Transfer or e-money products.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at: www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone: 0300 123 2040.

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