The victim – a 55-year-old woman – advertised her iPhone for sale for £800 on Facebook marketplace, on May 4, and had a conversation with a prospective buyer who came to her home to pick the phone up, police said.
The suspect reportedly looked at the phone and was happy with it, according to police, so agreed to pay the £800 via bank transfer. He showed the victim what he claimed to be a reference number.
Police said she checked her bank and could see the transaction had not gone through, but believed it may take a few hours. She requested some personal details such as a phone number and address, before the suspect left with the phone.
After several hours, the money had still not arrived in her account and she began to message the suspect on social media. He subsequently blocked her, police said.
She tried to call him on the mobile number provided but it would not connect, added police. The victim then noticed that the suspect’s profile picture and name had changed on social media.
On Thursday (July 27) police released the above footage and picture in the hope of identifying the man, as they believe he may be able to assist with enquiries.
PC Jason Morgan said: “Fraudulent behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated and we would urge anyone buying or selling expensive items using social media to be cautious.
“We recommend using payment services that protect both the buyer and the seller and to always check someone is who they say they are before proceeding with a transaction.”
Anyone who recognises the man or who may have any other information is asked to contact police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 332 of 05/05.