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Hertfordshire residents targeted in banking app scam

1 Oct 2021
  • Residents selling items online targeted by scammers

  • Scammers use fake banking app to 'pay' for goods

  • More than 30 victims reported in Hertfordshire  

Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to be wary when selling goods online after dozens of sellers were scammed.

The scammers target individuals who are selling valuable phones, cameras and other items via online selling platforms. The vendors were contacted about their items and when the scammer arrived, they pay for the item using a convincing banking app. The app can mimic apps from a number of banks and appears to show the funds being transferred to the victim’s bank account.

Around 30 offences have been reported since May this year in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and Welwyn Garden City.

PC Colin Cheesewright, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Victim Service Fraud Hub, said: “This scam is catching a lot of people out as it is very convincing. The scammer asks the victim to enter their bank details into the app and then it appears to show the amount being debited from the buyer’s account. I would urge anyone selling an item to be sceptical about accepting payment via a banking app. Payment by credit card or using Paypal for Business is a more secure way of making a sale.

“Please help us to raise awareness by talking about this with your friends and family, especially if they are vulnerable or elderly.”

If you believe that you are a victim of this scam please report online to Action Fraud (opens in a new window) or call 0300 123 2040.

Visit our crime prevention pages for advice on avoiding scams.

Alternatively, you can report to us online, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via online web chat or call our non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.

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