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LOCAL FAMILY SCAMMED: Local businessman Aidan Cupid steps in and buys new Xbox

Take care when shopping online. Unscrupulous festive fraudsters are out there waiting to take your money.

With Christmas just around the corner many last minute shoppers will resort to hunting for an online bargain.

HuddleHub received an anonymous request to make people aware that there are cyber scammers happy to take your money, whilst withholding the products they are advertising for sale.

This is one Barrow person’s warning to us all: “I went on to Facebook Marketplace and was looking for a second hand Xbox One. within my budget of £100. I eventually found one for £110, but they agreed to accept £100 for it.

"They asked me to pay via bank transfer which I promptly did. After I sent the money I sent a screenshot to the seller, with the proof the money had left my account.

"Eight hours had passed without hearing anything from the seller until 6pm, when I got a message saying they hadn’t received the money.

"I got straight into the phone to the bank and they confirmed the money had left my account and had been received by the other person.

"I then contacted the seller again, but have still not had any response.

"It came to my attention that I had been scammed, when I heard that another gentleman had bought the same Xbox that I had paid for, along with two other people purchasing it the day before”

On hearing the story, local businessman Aidan Cupid of Freelance Mechanics, offered to buy the local person a replacement brand new Xbox

Aidan said: “It is so sad that there are people that will do this. I heard all about it on Facebook, and I know it was meant to be a Christmas present for the family’s two sons. I just had to help out.”

Trading Standards also offered some advice for all year round online shopping. “If you have seen an item for sale on Facebook make sure you view the person's profile. Learn more about the person you are buying from or selling to before making a hasty decision.

If you’re making a purchase from a website or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. Look online for reviews of the website or person you’re buying from. If you’re purchasing an item from an online marketplace, you can view the seller’s feedback history before going ahead with the purchase.

Use a payment method that offers buyer protection, such as Paypal or a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers will help you get your money back if the item is faulty or damaged, or if it never arrives.

Never share your personal or financial information over the phone or via social media, text or email.

Anyone can fall victim to fraud. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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