A distraught dad said he has been conned out of £530 after falling victim to a Twitter scam while trying to buying a PlayStation 5 for his son for Christmas.
Dad-of-three Bradley Tooth from Bury, Greater Manchester, had been trying to get his hands on the latest PlayStation console for his eldest son, the Manchester Evening News reports.
He could not find the must-have items after it sold out in big brand stores across the UK, leading the dad to scour the internet for private sellers for the present for his eight-year-old son.
After weeks of searching, he finally found someone he believed to be a trusted private seller flogging one of the consoles for £530 on Twitter.
Bradley, 34, said: "I saw this person that I'd followed on Twitter for a bit – and he was followed by a few of my friends as well.
"He had 70-odd thousand followers – including verified Twitter users – 35,000 YouTube subscribers, and I saw that he sold a couple of PlayStations the day before, so I thought – legit."
After engaging in small talk, Bradley said the seller requested a bank transfer and provided his details.
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The dad transferred the money into the account but the seller claimed that the money still had not been deposited into his bank account.
Bradley said: "He kept saying: 'No I’ve not got it, I’m going to sell it again – I want to sell this PlayStation so check with your bank.'
"I checked with my bank and money had gone so they said that it had left my account. It was in his account.
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"He kept saying things like it will be a ‘bounce back transaction’ or his account had been ‘suspended’."
Bradley noticed the seller had switched his Twitter profile to private, deleted his tweets and later relisted the item.
He added: "I feel stupid for doing it because I’ve been in social media for nearly 10 years and I see this stuff all the time and you think it’s never going to be you."
Bradley has praised the response of TSB to his plight, saying: "The bank were bang on, instantaneous and reassuring."
He was gutted he fell victim to an online phishing scam, admitting it was the seller's large internet following that convinced him the seller was legitimate.
Bradley added: "My advice to parents would just be to wait until after Christmas, never buy from anyone off Twitter, use PayPal and be protected that way, and keep an eye on the stock checker from reputable shops."
TSB has since refunded Bradley the full amount.
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