TRADING Standards bosses at the Isle of Wight Council have launched an investigation after a Ryde man was targeted in a suspected internet selling scam.
Gary Barnes, 47, of Well Street, replied to an advert on WightBay in January where a seller had advertised a boat and trailer for sale, priced at £4,400. The boat was described as being in 'immaculate’ condition and was said to be being sold due to the death of the owner’s husband.
However, Gary’s suspicions were aroused when the seller demanded payment for the vessel via a false eBay payment account instead of WightBay’s account, and without him getting a chance to view the vessel. Gary alerted WightBay and the advert was taken down.
Now, Gary is warning others to be on their guard.
Gary said: "The thing is, if you see something which is too good to be true, then it probably is. It just seems a shame that you can’t trust anybody, regardless of the website."
Amanda Gregory, the Isle of Wight Council’s regulatory services manager, said: "We would urge people to take extra care when shopping on line, as scams to dupe people into providing log in or bank details are becoming more sophisticated."
A WightBay spokesman said it moderated the site to remove scam adverts several times a day but, unfortunately, some did slip through.
He said: "In instances where people get caught out by scams, we are more than willing to assist any investigating legal authority."