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We have had several people contact us this week with tales of how they have been scammed on Facebook buy/sell groups.

Facebook can be an excellent place to pick up a good bargain and it has many local groups that you can visit where they can be found, at other times it can turn into a nightmare, as a string of incidents we have had reported to us over the past week, clearly shows.

Firstly a lady told us how she was conned of £90 after buying a fridge from a seller in Eccles, the item was described as extremely clean, tested and fully functioning, sadly as she was later to find, that was not to be the case.

The freezer was delivered in a van to her home by the seller, who told her not to plug it in right away as the gasses needed to settle, which in all fairness is general advice when buying a fridge freezer and expected.

However, the unit was left to settle for several hours and upon plugging it in, it did not work, it was completely dead.

The lady attempted to contact the seller but was ignored, her husband later managed to get a response whereupon he was told that "the freezer was working when it left the shop."

The pair were left out of pocket and with a whole months shopping left to defrost and spoil.

In another incident, a lady claims that she was sold a sofa from another seller from the same area that quite literally fell apart within a day or so of getting it in her home, upon inspection, it was found that the only thing holding it together was a broken nail and 2 small screws.

The worst part, however, was when she turned her heating on, the radiator behind her warmed up and the house was filled with the stench of urine. 

She tried to contact the seller but got no answer and after trying a few times over a period of two days, the phone number was completely disconnected and the Facebook profile deleted.

And in yet another incident a man told us that he bought another leather sofa described as being in perfect condition and almost new from a Broughton group, only to find that it had a huge rip on the back which had attempted to disguise by using tape on the underside. The rip almost went unspotted as it was dark at the time of delivery, fortunately, a security light was activated as they passed and the rip was clearly seen. Had that not happened then it would have been put against a wall in the house and probably gone unnoticed until it was too late.

Upon confronting the man about it, he was met with claims that he had actually done it whilst they were unloading a chair from the van, the seller became quite stroppy and threatening.

Fortunately, the buyer had his two brothers in the property with him and the seller was given his marching orders.

On this occasion, the seller reloaded his van and left empty-handed in double quick time.

The temptation to grab a bargain from social media sites can be great, and in many cases, most people have no problems at all, sadly for some, it does not go to plan and they often end up out of pocket. 

It is best advised to always buy from a reputable shop or second-hand dealer, always ask to see the item working beforehand and always ensure you get a receipt for goods purchased.

If you have been a victim of a scam, you should immediately contact the police via 101 and give them as many details as possible, if your item has been delivered, ensure you get the registration number of the van/truck which they used. This can help police trace the scammers and recover your money.

Members of the public should be reminded of the dangers of buying electrical 'white goods' as they can be faulty and untested, which could lead to them causing fires or electrical shock.

We have passed on the information we have to trading standards and will follow up if and when we get a reply.


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