An Essex pawnbroker discovered a Facebook scam where a company was using its name to trade. The con affected people that had good attentions and wanted to purchase items from Essex Cash Xchange on Ness Road in Shoebury.
Victims of the fraud would pay for the items that they wanted on Paypal but then they would never receive their items after payment was made. The pawnbroker explained that the fraudsters would use the name of the shop and on their Facebook page had listed the phone number and full address of the pawn shop.
He explained that they found out about the fraud because a Yorkshire lady called them up wanting to talk to ‘Joe’ about a purchase she had made. There is no Joe employed at the pawn shop and it turned out the lady had been conned online.
Shortly after this occurred a man walked into the shop looking for headphones that he had paid for online only to find out that he had been conned as well.
The pawn shop reported the fraud to the police and quickly afterwards the Essex Cash XChange page was removed from facebook. However, the fraudsters adapted quickly and changed their supposed pawn shop to Cash-In-Hand which has branches in Braintree and Colchester.
The scammers even used a photo of the shop so that it would look like the page was a genuine business page while at the same time promoting sales of Xboxes and iPhones. Essex Cash Xchange staff alerted the branch manager, Kevin Fisher, of Cash-In-Hand about the scam.
Fisher stated that they want their customers to realise that their business does not sell goods via Facebook and if there is any doubt then customers should ring the store directly about a sale. He added that hopefully the police will be able to catch up with them before the store’s reputation is hurt.