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Online sales scam suspect arrested in police sting

A man suspected of running an online sales scam was arrested after Coventry Police carried out a sting on an address in the city.

Police were alerted on 6 December by a man in Yorkshire reporting he’d sold an iPhone 8 to a buyer providing a delivery address in Willenhall.

He’d posted the phone having received what he believed was a payment confirmation email from PayPal – but it proved to be a bogus message and his account wasn’t credited with the agreed £460 price.

A 35-year-old man was held in police custody on suspicion of fraud

Officers discovered the parcel was being held in a sorting office – alongside other items destined for the property in Robin Hood Road – and enquires with Action Fraud revealed sellers across the country had also raised concerns about the delivery address.

A plan was hatched to carry out a ‘controlled pass-over’ of the packages at a time when police would be lying in wait.

And on Wednesday morning (11 Dec), officers moved in to arrest a 35-year-old man moments after he’d signed for three deliveries; he was arrested on suspicion of fraud. 

Coventry Police Sergeant Darren Betts, said: “We found multiple calls from victims across the country saying they’d sent goods to the address in Robin Hood Road but not received the money. The name of the recipient varied from order to order.

“A search was carried out in the property and the man’s car. We found several parcels, including a pair of boxed Nike trainers, a PlayStation, tablet computer, clothing items and televisions. Five bank cards, all in different names, were also seized along with the tenant’s laptop, two mobile phones and three Nigerian passports.

“It’s a great example of police working with partners to arrest a man suspected of causing lots of financial pain and anxiety to people across the UK – and one who may well have become more prolific in the run-up to Christmas.”

The man was questioned on suspicion of fraud and released under investigation while further enquiries are made into the scale of the scam.

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