A mum was scammed and left with £600 out of her pocket – money she wanted to use to buy Christmas presents for her grandchildren.
Janine Ferguson, who has seven adult children, 16 grandchildren and a great-grandson, has listed her mobile phone, a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, for sale on a Sell and Trade page on Facebook.
The 60-year-old, from St Asaph, said she was delighted when a potential buyer contacted her after spotting the phone for sale and offered her £600.
When the buyer arrived at Janine’s home, Janine said the man seemed “friendly” and there was nothing to worry about.
Janine and her husband Mark, 58, watched the man make a bank transfer on his mobile phone, but were devastated when the money never arrived in Mark’s account.
Janine, who asked not to be photographed, said: “The guy came into our house, wired £600 in front of us. We didn’t realize it was a scam.
“I’ve used Facebook shopping sites many times and never had any issues with it, I’ve always gotten paid for items sold.
“The phone had been online for two weeks before this man made contact.
“I woke up in the morning and got a message from the man asking if the phone was still available. I said it was and he offered me £600, which I I agreed. He never knocked me down on the price, which was a little odd, there was no haggling.
“It was £600, it was going to be for the grandchildren; money to buy presents for Christmas.
“When he came I sent Mark as I wasn’t feeling well. Mark took the phone out of the drawer and the guy was in the flat. He was polite, Irish. He asked if it was ok to do a bank transfer?
“I said it was cash on collection but he said ‘sorry’ and it was his fault he didn’t read that on the ad. He was so normal He seemed like a caring guy.
“I don’t do online banking so we used Mark’s account. Mark gave him his details and he showed us on the phone that he had made the bank transfer. He was saying £600 on the phone.
“Mark looked and the money was not in his bank but the man said it could take 10-15 minutes for the money to arrive.
“He left and the alarm bells started ringing, and the money never arrived.
“We are unlikely to get the money back, but if we can just prevent it from happening to anyone else.
“He was in his thirties, I would say, wearing shorts, a t-shirt, trainers, white socks and a zip-up jacket. He would stand out in a crowd.
“It’s really sad that people do something like this because they don’t realize the ripple effect it has on people, especially with times now so difficult financially,” Janine added.
“I absolutely don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Janine reported the incident to the police. She is aware of two other incidents that occurred the same day involving the same scam.
A North Wales Police spokesperson said: “We received a call at 6.13pm on Monday October 17 reporting an incident of a man obtaining a mobile phone through a fraudulent bank transfer.
“Officers have attended and spoken to the victim and our investigation is ongoing.”