Police warn of new wave of online scams

FRODSHAM residents are being warned about a new wave of online scams where fraudsters hack into Facebook accounts in a bid to steal money from family and friends.
The sophisticated scam involves a hacker gaining access to an existing Facebook Messenger account and then messaging friends and family asking them to receive cash after an item has been sold on eBay.
Scammers will say that their PayPal is not working or that they do not have an account and ask whether the friend or family member can receive funds to their own PayPal account.
Once the undisclosed amount has been transferred to a bank account, they will then forward it to an account controlled by the fraudster.
Once the payment has been transferred, the transaction is then reversed, leaving the victim with a negative balance and the fraudster benefitting from cash.
Across the UK the total reported loss is believed to be  around £44,035.
Cheshire Police are now urging residents to remain vigilant when receiving a message asking for help with PayPal.
Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “We are extremely concerned with the national trend of fraudsters using social media accounts to make a criminal gain.
“Nationally there have been multiple reports from victims stating that their Facebook Messenger accounts have been hacked and fraudulent messages have been sent to their friends on their behalf.
“Interestingly, between June and July, there have been 95 reports of scam messages which specifically mentioned that the item sold on eBay was a camera.
“I would urge everyone to remain vigilant as this scam will not discriminate. Please follow the key messages and help us to stop more people from being targeted.”
Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or have been a victim of fraud should call Cheshire Police on 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Information can also be reported online to https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report/

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