Woman robbed of £3,600 by Facebook marketplace fraud

Lucy decided to demolish her old workspace (pictured) in favour of the one she thought shed bought. SWNS
Lucy decided to demolish her old workspace (pictured) in favour of the one she thought she’d bought. SWNS

A beauty therapist is urging fellow social media users to be cautious after she was conned out of £3,600 on Facebook Marketplace. 

Lisa Fletcher, a 46-year-old from Evesham, Worcestershire, has recounted her distressing experience in hopes of preventing others from falling prey to similar online scams. 

Fletcher’s ordeal began when she spotted an enticing listing for a pre-built shipping container office on the popular e-commerce platform. Feeling satisfied after exchanging messages and phone calls with the seller, she transferred the requested amount of £3,600. The scammer presented official-looking invoices and business-headed paper, leaving Fletcher with no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the deal.

However, the promised garden office never materialised, leaving Fletcher out of pocket and in a difficult situation. Not only did she lose the £3,600 investment, but she also had to cope with financial setbacks due to lost earnings and the need to purchase and convert another container.

Compounding her troubles, Fletcher had demolished her previous workspace to make way for the new office, which never arrived. Despite reporting the incident to her bank, Santander, she was offered only partial reimbursement, adding to her frustration.

Fletcher’s story highlights the alarming rise in scams across various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Recent studies have shown that these platforms are now responsible for over a million cases of fraud annually, surpassing traditional crimes like robberies, burglaries, and even homicides.

Santander, in response to Fletcher’s case, revealed that their initial fraud detection had flagged the transaction as potentially suspicious, resulting in a blocked payment. However, following a conversation with Fletcher, the payment was eventually processed. While the bank acknowledged the situation, they adhered to the Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) Code and offered only a partial reimbursement.

By sharing her unfortunate experience, she hopes to empower others to be more cautious and avoid falling victim to such fraudulent schemes.

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