Police Public Safety

L. Saucon Police Warn of Wallapop Internet Scam

lspd police chief DUI

Late Saturday Lower Saucon Township Police issued a warning about an Internet scam they say two residents have recently reported to the department.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

Late Saturday Lower Saucon Township Police issued a warning about an Internet scam they say two residents have recently reported to the department.

In both cases, police said the residents were trying to sell merchandise on Wallapop–which describes itself as “the app to sell and discover nearby”–when they were contacted by individuals from out of state who said they wanted to buy their items.

The buyers then offered to send bogus checks for more than the actual amount of the items being sold, and requested that the sellers send the extra money to a third party via money order.

Police said the scammers usually refer to the third party as a shipping company or a friend who will be picking up the item.

“This scam works when the seller takes out cash for the extra amount (and) sends it via money gram to the third party name at an out of state address before the seller or their bank realize the check is no good,” police explained.

Police offered the following advice to residents, to help prevent them from becoming victims of Internet scams:

  • Read the fine print on websites that allow individuals to post items for sale, and know their rules and regulations.
  • Be very cautious about selling items to buyers out of state.
  • Be leery of anyone who wants to send a check for more than the amount of the item being sold.
  • When possible, try to arrange for face-to-face transactions in a safe place.

Wallapop offers the following tips and advice for buying and selling safely under the FAQ on its website:

1. Tips for Buying

Buying on Wallapop is really simple, but following these tips will ensure you have the best possible experience.

  • Buy in Person: We recommend completing your transaction ONLY in person (face to face) and locally. Do not send payment to anyone you have not met in person and do not buy if the deal involves shipping the item. Do not wire payments. Deal in cash. Keep in mind no third-parties can provide insurance or a guarantee.
  • Look First: Be sure to carefully inspect and test the item you are buying; once you’ve paid for it, it is at the seller’s discretion if they will give you the option to return the item. You should assume that you cannot return the item.
  • Be Smart and Intuitive: If something does not seem right, it probably isn’t, and you may choose not to proceed with the transaction.
  • Suspicious Behavior: If a user is acting suspiciously, please report the conversation on Wallapop.
  • Scams & Fraud: Be aware of scammers and keep things simple and smart to avoid a bad experience. If you experience fraud, or a scam, please report the conversation with the user on Wallapop to us and contact your local police department or, if you have not met the person face-to-face, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (USA).

2. Tips for Selling

Taking a few moments to make an appealing listing will pay off in spades. These tips will help you sell your stuff fast!

  • Be smart & intuitive for a great experience! Be aware of scams and fraud. Only complete purchases face-to-face and in person, locally, and with cash. Do not accept money orders, personal checks or cashier/certified checks–banks may cash fakes, then hold you responsible for the amount. Never accept wire transfers or send money electronically; don’t proceed with transactions on Wallapop that require using things like PayPal, shipping or escrow services, or if the buyer is unwilling or unable to meet in person to complete the transaction. Do what feels safe and comfortable.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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