Online scammer ‘stole thousands’ using complex Facebook Marketplace trick

A convicted online fraudster stole thousands of pounds from unwitting people using a "triangle scheme" on Facebook Marketplace.

Jacob Bailey stole an array of clothing and jewellery, convincing people to send goods by providing false payment details before flogging the gear for profit.

Brazen Bailey, who had been receiving Universal Credit and personal independence payments, even had the cheek to tell police that he would never steal from anyone face to face because that would be "morally wrong".

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The 24-year-old started up the old scheme again when he became short of money, even though he had previously been jailed for 16 months for similar antics.

Hull Crown Court heard that he had been given a suspended prison sentence as recently as December, but he still carried on scamming people, Hull Live reports.

He admitted five offences of fraud between March 22 last year and January 11 this year.

Harry Bradford, prosecuting, said that the individual sums of money defrauded from unsuspecting members of the public were £300 on March 22 last year, £502 and £2,100 on August 11 and 19 last year, £300 on September 30, and £175 on January 11 – a total of £3,377.

As part of a complex "triangular fraud scheme", he targeted people advertising items for sale on Facebook Marketplace and agreed to buy them.

The scam involved him offering to sell non-existent items for exactly the same amount of money. The original seller eventually lost out through other people's supposed payment details being given to them.

The sellers had sent out the items, believing a genuine sale was in process, but they were never paid. The items were delivered to Bailey, who could then sell them.

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He admitted five offences of fraud between March 22 last year and January 11 this year.

The £300 item being sold by the first advertiser was an eight-carat gold wedding ring, the £502 item was a good bracelet, the £2,100 sale was for a charm bracelet, the £300 item was for a coat and a wallet and passport holder, and the £175 item was a jumper.

Bailey, whose parents have stopped talking to him over his actions, was jailed for two years.

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