Beware of ‘Scammers’ on the World Wide Web!
There are some disturbing stories of crime on the web and it is with this in mind I want to inform you of how a constituent of mine got scammed out of £210 of hard earned cash that she can ill afford to lose.
. My constituent is 76 an invalid and got scammed out of her money by subscribing to a ‘buy and sell’ site. In short she bought a phone from the site and it never arrived. Despite my constituent having Bank details of the seller, and constant telephone conversations with that seller about the phone purchase that never arrived, her money has not been returned.
A report was made to the police in Merthyr Tydfil where the scammer resides, but all they said was that it should be reported to Action Fraud, which it has been.
Wolverhampton City Council Trading Standards inform that the matter has been looked into by one of their consumer advisers and he has been in contact with the consumer (my constituent) and advised them of their findings. Unfortunately for my constituent the person who placed the advertisement on the selling site was a private individual and the payment was made by bank transfer, which is effectively a cash payment. This internet selling company acts in a similar fashion to a classified ad and as such they do not offer any form of complaint procedure etc.
Trading Standards have further advised that it is a residential property where there is no record of any business occurring, as such trading standards does not have any powers to pursue the matter. Their best advice in these situations is to guide the consumer in relation to what action they can take and the prospect of getting any money back.
My constituent has been advised that he may be in a position to ‘sue’ the seller but even if he wins he may then have to enforce judgement. In this case there is a further cost implication.
If there was never any intention by the seller to provide the phone then this would be a matter for the Police, who have already advised the injured party to contact Action Fraud.
So you can see this is a quagmire for buyers. Please be aware of the implications of buying off the internet, and of course beware the activity of scammers!
Contact Councillor Phil Bateman MBE – firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone 01922 403960
Article Date: 11th September 2013