This Facebook message left one woman £3,300 in debt!
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This Facebook message left one woman £3,300 in debt!

I read Ann-Marie Deaton’s story in the news this morning and found it absolutely heart breaking. It’s terrible to think that people would be cruel enough to scam people so close to Christmas, but hopefully by sharing this story, people will be more vigilant when receiving Facebook messages asking if they would like to earn some extra cash.

There are far more incidents of fraud in the run up to Christmas because people are much more desperate for extra cash making them easy targets. 

Ann-Marie Deaton took on what she thought was extra work to earn some money to spend on her kids, only to find herself owing PayPal more than £3,000 instead. 

It began earlier this month when a man messaged her on Facebook. She explains: “He contacted me and asked if I would be interested in selling some electrical items for him on eBay. He said he had a shop of his own but didn’t have time to list things, so he was looking for people to list them for him.

Part of what made the scam more believable was that the fraudster carried out a number of checks on her, asking her questions about her credibility as a seller and checking her eBay account to make sure she was legitimate.

Ann- Marie was promised £100 commission for every item she sold and had managed to list and sell 3 Apple MacBooks that very day. She quickly realised that she could easily make £500 – 3600 a week, which would make a big difference for her family with Christmas just around the corner!

As instructed, Ann-Marie received the funds into her PayPal account and immediately transferred the money into her personal bank account. She then transferred the money to the ‘seller’, less her £300 commission and waited for him to send the order tracking numbers so she could share them with the buyers.

Her dreams were suddenly shattered as things started to go downhill rapidly.

“I didn’t hear back by lunchtime, so I messaged him to say I was getting hassle from the buyers. The buyers wanted the shipping numbers as they were taking the day off work to be in for the delivery. He said: ‘Don’t worry, the money hasn’t gone in yet but as soon as it has I’ll be in touch.’” She told The Mirror.

The scammer then deleted his Facebook and he was uncontactable.

She told The Mirror: “I phoned the police but the fraud team had gone so I had to contact them the next day and in the meantime I was getting quite upset about the buyers. I was panicking about what I was going to do; I knew I’d be liable.”

Unfortunately, the fraud team at her local police station aren’t very confident that they’ll be able to trace the money and payPal and eBay are now demanding money from her.

Ann-Marie now owes PayPal over £3,000. Because she transferred the money into her personal account before sending it, there is little they can do and a spokesperson warned users to be vigilant, saying: “We all need to take precautions to avoid online scams like this.

Hopefully by sharing this story, Ann-Marie will have saved others from falling for the scam. Especially now Christmas is growing closer, people are more likely to take up offers that sound too good to be true.

CLICK HERE to read the full story over on The Mirror.

CLICK HERE to read my top ten tips to help protect you from fraud.

 

 

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