A pawnbroker found a clever scam on Facebook in which a company was conducting transactions using its name. Many people trying to make purchases from Essex (Cash Xchange) in Ness Road were affected by the con. Some of those who fell victim to the con would buy goods and then make payments through Paypal, but later on would not receive their purchased items.
The shop owner, who did not want his name to be mentioned for fear of reproach, said that the scammers used the shop’s name, phone number and full address on their web page. He goes on to say that they found out that their shop was used in the fraud when a woman from Yorkshire called to speak with Joe, but no one with that name has ever worked there. As it turned out, the lady was one of those who fell prey to the con.
Later on, a gentleman came by asking for his headphones only to realize that he had been ripped-off. As soon as the incident was reported to the cops, Essex Cash Xchange found that details of their shop had been withdrawn from the page on Facebook, but instead the con company was claiming to be a Cash-In-Hand business with branches in Colchester, Braintree, Queen Street and New Street.
To make it seem more genuine to the general public it used pictures of the shop. Essex Cash Xchange alerted the branch manager Kevin Fisher of the scam. The shop owner informed their customers that they do not sell goods through their Facebook page and that they hope the police catch-up with the fraudsters before they inflict any more damage to their good reputation.
The profile of the fake company purports to be from Hales (Norfolk), and as for Cash-In-Hand, apparently they do not sell merchandise via PayPal. Victims of the fraud from as far as Bristol and Kings Lynn have filed complaints and are now making demands for the goods they paid for. Mr. Fisher has now reported the fraud attempt to both the police and Facebook. This scam is now under investigation from Action Fraud.