Tralee Woman Says Be Vigilant After Being Scammed Of €500 Online

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Denise Hanbidge, was scammed out of €500 online.

Denise Hanbidge, was scammed out of €500 online.

A BALLYARD woman is warning the public to take great care when buying or selling online, after she was scammed out of €500 when selling an item of furniture.

Denise Hanbidge was selling a couch over the internet and after corresponding with what she thought was an interested buyer, she ended up losing the money.

The couch was for sale on few national and local buy and sell websites.

After corresponding with a person who agreed to buy the couch, Denise was told she would receive a receipt from PayPal via email, acknowledging that the payment had gone through.

“It looked all legitimate, now everything out of my account is gone,” said Denise.

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Denise got an email from who she perceived to be PayPal, but was in fact a bogus email account. The fake receipt showed that €1,356.00 had been paid into Denise’s account by the buyer. €856 was for the couch while an extra €500 was paid in for ‘Transport Charges’.

The email address, posing to be PayPal, notified Denise that it would take 12 hours for the money to go through because they were dealing with so many transactions.

On Wednesday, Denise agreed to use the €500 to pay the ‘Transport Charges’ through Western Union for the courier company, organised by the buyer, to collect the couch. She was told that PayPal would then transfer the amount for the couch into her bank account.

Her suspicions were finally raised on Thursday morning when she received a further email from the hoax PayPal address asking for more money. Denise rang PayPal and they informed her that no transaction had taken place.

“When I rang PayPal I knew it was too late at that stage,” said Denise.

“I’m just so mad at myself that I didn’t ring straight away, but the PayPal email seemed so legitimate telling me I had received the money that I believed it,” she said.

The address Denise paid €500 via Western Union was in the Ukraine. She was told by the thief that they were moving to the United Kingdom and would have the couch sent there.

While talking to PayPal, they advised her to contact The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and Gardaí in Tralee which she did, but they fear there’s not much that can be done to recoup her losses.

The message is when buying and selling online, best practice is to take your time and be circumspect with every aspect of the transaction.

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