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*Beware* Facebook Marketplace Groupset Scam

Would like to make people aware of a scam that seems to be doing the rounds on Facebook Marketplace.

About a week ago I fell foul of said scam. Like an absolute d***head I payed via PayPal using friends and family. And before any clever and helpful trolls call me an idiot…..I ALREADY KNOW!!!!

Anyway, the parts in question were Dura Ace Di2 and the scammer went by the name of ‘Gary Thwaite’ it later transpired that Gary was a decent guy and his identity had been stolen (I actually tracked him down and chatted on the phone) he said other people had contacted him about similar. I believe that this is linked to other fake accounts with names such as Jerry Howard and Jack Byrne.

How did I stupidly get sucked in you ask? Well the scammer originally was saying that I could collect. It was only when I looked at travel distance I suggested postage. We agreed a price and he suggested I pay with PayPal friends and family to save on fees (I know, I know!) I said I wasn’t comfortable, he then sent me his address and his business card which checked out. This coupled with the fact that he’d previously ok’d a physical pick up…..led me to take a calculated risk with the payment. Fail. Excuses ensued until the messages were dropped completely.

Needless to say, no chance of refund. Bank won’t touch it because it’s a direct debit to PayPal. PayPal are giving it the ‘no buyer protection’ thing that they always do. I’ve actually lodged a complaint with them which will probably fall on deaf ears, but I do think there’s some questions to answer. Namely, why aren’t PayPal doing more to combat fraud. By creating this loophole they are actually supporting this crime. You can obviously say ‘well they are supporting the battle against fraud with buyer protection, it’s up to you to use it’ but people do get duped and if they could chargeback genuine fraud/scam payments it would leave the scammers in a tougher position.

I digress. Should anyone have any info then please message me. Any similar experiences please post up. Most of all, please be vigilant.

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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21 comments

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
2 likes

I used to lurk around retrobike.co.uk a lot.  Most sellers/buyers on there used to use PP F&F all the time.  I must have bought and sold thousands of pounds worth of kit using it.

The key thing to remember is that you can pay the fees yourself.  So respond to the seller saying that and see what they do....

The phrase on retrobike was always "PP Friends and family or you pay the fees".

I paid the fees a couple of times when it was oversea's stuff.

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PRSboy | 1 year ago
1 like

Doesn't sound like you did anything wrong... when buying anything at all via an online marketplace we're all taking a risk and I would have done the same in the circumstances.  Thanks for the warning-  I was thinking of buying a guitar effects pedal via FB and now I know to be on my guard.

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henryb replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago
3 likes
PRSboy wrote:

Doesn't sound like you did anything wrong... 

The OP does admit to what they did wrong, which is to use Paypal 'Friends & Family' (which doesn't provide buyer protection) to pay someone who wasn't personally known to them for goods or services. 

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Rendel Harris replied to henryb | 1 year ago
2 likes

All too easy to do I'm afraid, I stupidly lost a considerable amount paid for a non-existent Macbook a few years back by falling for a sob story ("I'm only selling this because I'm a student who's really struggling to make ends meet, I can't afford to pay Paypal fees"). Since then if anyone says can I use friends and family payments I say I'll add the commercial fees to the amount I send (it's only 2% or so, which makes little odds unless you're buying something really expensive); genuine sellers are fine with it, the scammers don't come back.

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PH1 replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago
0 likes

Hello,  I got caught out with this too after buying some FOX 38 MTB forks! I'm going speak to pay pal too and see if I can get some money back. I cant believe pay pal still have his profile up and listed email address to pay him (Jack Byrne).  P

 

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kil0ran replied to PH1 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Good overview here of legal rights when buying online and using Paypal as a payment processors

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/PayPal-Section75/

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StretfordEndArising | 1 year ago
2 likes

Word of caution.

Seen a Di2 DA groupset for sale on FB Marketplace. Looks extremely dodgy. Seller name is Josh Wilson. £720

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philthepeg | 1 year ago
1 like

Had the same thing happen to us, a Jerry Howard on facebook scammed £460 for an ultegra groupset. Did you go to the police? 

We are in the process of doing this.

We also were going to pick up and pay, but then his plans changed. All very plausable at the time... but you feel an idiot after. 

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StretfordEndArising replied to philthepeg | 1 year ago
3 likes

Sorry to hear this. Unfortunately 'Jerry Howard' is a well known alias of these scammers.

I did go to the police and reported it to the fraud team. However, it was a useless exercise and nothing came of it. Complete waste of time.

At this point in time I must say that I'm very very fortunate. PayPal have actually refunded me the money. Never thought I'd see the money back in a month of Sundays. Not completely sure why. But what I did do was complain to the Financial Ombundsman and also speak to my local MP. Yes we've been foolish and disregarded buyer protection with PayPal, but they should still be doing more to combat fraud. This is the angle I went down. Hope some of this might help.

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sjamesorr replied to philthepeg | 1 month ago
0 likes

Did you get your money back? it just happened to me!

 

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vthejk | 1 year ago
1 like

One of them. I would Never buy something as expensive as Dura-Ace Di2 parts using this option but have frequently paid up to £60 (this was for a very nice Giro helmet that was in fact posted to me) using PayPal friends and family. You're taking a calculated risk using no buyer protection so it's up to you how much money you would risk; £60 is probably as far as I'd go.

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StretfordEndArising replied to vthejk | 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm purchasing nothing now other than with card. Shifted all my PayPal payments too, they can poke it.

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0-0 | 1 year ago
1 like

I foresee some trouble on the way, and don't leave your abode tonight.
Unless you're red and white. As I mentioned before, I see there's trouble on the way.

I used to have season ticket in Tier 2 until 2007🙂

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andystow | 1 year ago
6 likes

Yup, just think of PP F&F as posting someone an envelope full of cash, except then you could at least know the address you posted it to if it was worth reporting to the police.

Can PayPal even tell you who got the funds? Surely there has to be a bank account on the other end eventually, unless they're turning around the funds via purchases of gift cards.

On the other hand, if you could claw back funds paid "friends and family" the scam could go the other way. If someone met you to buy a bike you were selling, and you let them pay with PayPal then and there, thinking it was equivalent to cash, they could then file a report later saying they paid you and you never showed up, or something.

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StretfordEndArising replied to andystow | 1 year ago
3 likes

Unfortunately PayPal has been less than useless. Yes I've been a numpty and I'll just suck it up and learn from my mistake. 

But........surely they have access to certain details that they can provide to authorities to help catch these scumbags.

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sjamesorr replied to StretfordEndArising | 1 month ago
0 likes

Hi, I have just come across this and going through something similar with the same scammer! Even sent me a picture of his passport to confirm the identity and prove that he was a legitimate seller! (Gary Waite). Asked me to pay into his 'wife's' account. I stupidly did. Did any of you above manage to sort with paypal? 

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StretfordEndArising replied to sjamesorr | 1 month ago
3 likes

Read all comments on thread. I was fortunate and managed to get recompensed.

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sjamesorr replied to StretfordEndArising | 1 month ago
0 likes

Thanks - how did you get recompensated? Paypal are having none of it. 

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StretfordEndArising replied to sjamesorr | 1 month ago
2 likes

I made a LOT of noise with the ombudsman and local MP........

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sjamesorr replied to StretfordEndArising | 1 month ago
0 likes

How long after you kicked off did you get your money back? 

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StretfordEndArising replied to sjamesorr | 1 month ago
0 likes

Can't remember. But it was months as opposed to weeks.

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