Scam alert after Mansfield couple conned out of expensive watch

A couple have issued a warning to other Mansfield residents after falling prey to a scam that conned them out of an expensive watch.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:33 pm
The Apple watch, belonging to Sophie Renshaw's partner, pictured as it was offered for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

Sophie Renshaw, 26, tried to sell her partner Trafford’s Apple watch on Facebook Marketplace.

But they attracted a conman who used a sophisticated ploy, using a fake banking app, to trick them into handing over the watch, valued at £290, for free.

"I am always very careful, and I have never been deceived in the past,” said Sophie.

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"But he was very good at what he did, and I know of at least three other people in the Mansfield and Ashfield area this has happened to. We need to raise awareness.

"The police’s Action Fraud centre say it will be investigated within 28 days but, in that time, how many more people will have been scammed?”

The conman presented himself on Facebook as Daniel Carter. And after exchanging messages with Sophie, he turned up on the couple’s doorstep to supposedly buy the watch.

They agreed to a bank transfer, and the man showed the couple his online account via an app. What’s more, he gave Trafford his phone to key in his card details, and let him take a photo of the payment reference number that the transaction had purportedly generated.

Suspicions were raised when the payment failed to appear in Trafford’s account. But when he rang his bank, he was told it could take up to 24 hours to appear.

"Stupidly, we let him take the watch,” said Sophie. “Hours later, we messaged him to say the money had still not come through.

"He said it had been blocked, but would soon be unblocked. If not, he would bring the watch back.

"But when I messaged him on Facebook the next morning, he had blocked me and I realised we had been scammed.”

Sadly, the conman’s name, Facebook account, bank account and even his online banking app were all fake.

And when Sophie posted details of the crime, she discovered that at least two other women, including one in Huthwaite, had been conned in a similar way.

The man is described as about 19 years old, with an Irish accent. He was wearing a navy and red sports top, and jeans.

If you have any information, please contact the police.