Hi, a bit of context first.
I'm selling all my used electronics on Gumtree. Often people ask me if I can accept bank transfers and I always say yes to them. I give them my account details and two minutes later money is in my account and I hand over the item, nice and easy.
I have never had any issues with it. However, today someone came to buy another item from me and asked again to use a bank transfer instead of cash. I gave the person the sort code and account number. He opened his mobile banking app, logged in with his PIN etc. and sent the money. We waited for 10-15 minutes but money never reached my account. Eventually, I told him that he can collect the item later when the money is in my account, otherwise, he can wait with me for the money to reach my bank account at my house and chill together (I'm not working today so have plenty of time). He was cool with that and said he'll come back later after work to collect it.
It's been now hours and money is still not in my account. I haven't messaged him yet but this seems to be more and more suspicious to me because I've never waited so long for a UK bank to UK bank transfer. I obviously still have the item and I'm not going to give it to him until I have the money in my account or cash in hand.
But the question is, is it possible to write a fake app that looks legit like that? It looked like a proper Metro bank app and he did the transfer in front of me, everything looked legit to me.
Have anyone heard about any scams like that? I know scammers used Moneygram and other methods before but I've never heard anything about UK bank to UK bank transfer scams.
UPDATE: Money never arrived in my bank account, he clearly tried to scam me. I messaged him about it and he blocked me immediately. I'm super lucky I never gave him my Xbox. Be careful out there people! Someone down in the comments said they just got scammed like this and lost their goods!
53 Commentssorted by
When they tried it with me, they got on the phone to someone from the "bank" - who was clearly a kid and they didn't have to clear security or wait at all. Immediately knew the "transaction" without any information. Clear setup - non-locals too, scottish fellas in Nottinghamshire.
I'm so glad you didn't hand over the item and trust them!
Incredibly common now - there are people going round the country looking for every high value item on gumtree and Facebook marketplace and pulling this trick.
They have a fake bank app, that's shows you they've sent it. They have a fake telephone line with an 0800 number that they call pretending it's the bank and "the bank" tells you the money has been sent and will be there in 2 hrs.
You are lucky they gave up so easily - one trick they do is to say "I've sent you the money so give me the item else I'll stab you"
Hopefully, others will come along and may provide advice on whether they have seen possible scams like this.
In the meantime, the money may still come through and at least you have kept hold of the item selling
You done right though by holding on to the goods until the money hits your account. Well done.
I like to think of my self as pretty savvy but nearly lost a £5k motorbike by not waiting for the funds to hit my account, I stupidly let the bike go without waiting for the funds to hit my account after seeing him enter my details and send the funds, 12hrs later still no sign in my account. I spoke to the buyer and he told me his bank had frozen the payment and it would take another 24hrs. I didn't wait, went round to his house mob handed and picked the bike back up (fortunately it was quite a local sale).
Never did get the funds or see the buyer again but at least i got the bike back.
I now NEVER let the item leave my possession until the money is in my account. (edited)
I have seen videos on TikTok of their use and one where the woman gets caught.
Strictly cash on collection and check the money is not counterfeit if it is a large amount.
Sometimes though bank transfer do take a while as they need authorisation, I sold my Range Rover Sport around 7 years ago, took a little over an hour to go in my bank. HSBC to Lloyd's, I remember the guy had a little calculator looking thing that gave him a pin to use when transferring money.
Then about 5 years ago I sold my Focus RS to a garage, waited an hour and the guy ended up ringing his bank, they said they blocked the transfer until he rang as it was a huge amount of cash to be paying.
Maybe just accept cash when items are this expensive, but get yourself a pen for notes to make sure they're not fake as well
You have to have your wits wide awake and alert these days when selling on gumtree/FB. (edited)
Let him chase it up.
Not sure of scam, maybe there is something new going around.
Anyways but it does happen sometimes, that while transferring people either make mistake with a/c number sort code or forget pressing final confirmation button.
In my case I had to send money to someone but I forgot to press final confirmation button, fella contacted me after 2 days, I verified and transferred again.
Most transfers to a UK bank are via a FPS which is often instant, unless there's some sort of verification etc.
Most banking "apps" are basically web pages. It's trivial to copy the html/CSS, host it somewhere and put a link to it on a phone made to look like an app.
You get confirmation of payees name now so if the wrong details were inputted it wouldn't have come up with your name.
I sometimes send money "straight away" on my banking app (to people I know) and I can't remember it ever being anything other than instant (though, I'm sure there are times where the system goes down, it must be rare).
About being intimidated by some people at the door - I let boyf handle it if I'm unsure about who's coming. Some people can seem really inarticulate or pushy online and be decent in person!
Just got this message not long ago: "Hi, is this still available?make it less" (I'm being asked if it was Captain Picard). To be fair, it might be that the person doesn't have English as their first language. (edited)