Second-hand private sales website 2dehands.be has warned users of a new technique being used by fraudsters. The new scam involves trying to lure sellers off the site to complete the transaction.
Normally, someone with something to sell advertises on the site (or one like it) and attracts an interested buyer. The transaction then takes place via the site using a payment method such as PayPal.
In this version, however, the supposed buyer takes to the site’s chat function to organise an off-site sale with the seller. When it comes to payment, they resort to a PayPal account made in advance to resemble the official site of 2dehands.be – something any web-savvy 14-year-old could manage.
As a result, the seller is led to believe that the sum involved has been paid into their account via the site, when in fact no payment has been made. In addition, the scammers ask for a deposit to be paid to set the transaction in motion – something a spokesperson for 2dehands.be stressed never happens in reality.
The site has warned all users never to be tempted to take their transaction off of the site. “If that happens, we have no way of stepping in if things go wrong,” Petra Baeck said. The only alternative is to file a police report, she said.