St Albans victim warns about Xbox scam

Beware of this  man trying to buy games consoles.

Beware of this man trying to buy games consoles. - Credit: Supplied

St Albans residents have fallen victim to a scam involving expensive technological items.

The man photographed - going by the name of Thomas Rankin - has allegedly been visiting homes to buy items such as Xboxes, PlayStations and mobile phones.

He  encourages targets to put their bank details into an app so that he can make an online payment to the owner of the product, but it is subsequently found to be fake.

One of the victims, Simona Krabcova was visited at 3pm on Saturday: "He pretended to send the money across - which looked very legitimate. He also called the 'bank' on his phone which must have been somebody acting as a bank customer service adviser.

"The person at the end of the line to the 'bank' said that it can take up to couple hours for the money to transfer and then he left with the Xbox Series X and controller and games he was supposed to have paid £550 for.

"We sold the Xbox after a really tough time self-isolating with COVID. 

"We needed that money for bills. And now we are left without the Xbox or the £550."

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After she later she discovered that no online transaction was made, Simona added: "He blocked me - and the other victims - on all our devices. He is using a fake Facebook profile."

"We want other people to know about this guy so that they do not end up conned like we all have been."

Elsewhere in the region, Lorraine Blunden was scammed out of £580 when she advertised her Xbox Series X with two controllers and seven games on Facebook Marketplace. 

Lorraine said: "I am usually very suspicious of people and made some checks on this man. For example, I took a photo of his car and discovered it was a fake number plate."

A spokesperson for Herts police said: "We are aware of one incident in St Albans. The victim was advised to report it to Action Fraud, who will investigate and let us know if we can assist with any local enquiries."

Report any similar incidents to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk