Police are warning people to be vigilant after a number of scams involving items being sold on Facebook Marketplace.
Officers across the county have recorded a spate of crimes in recent months in which the buyer, known as Peter Shyne, arrives at people’s houses after agreeing to purchase an item they advertised for sale.
Once they agree on a price, Shyne shows a payment being made using a banking app on his phone, followed by confirmation the transaction has gone through. When the money does not arrive in the buyer’s account immediately, he explains it sometimes takes a while and then leaves with the item. The seller later realises it was a fake account.
So far, scams have been reported involving an Apple Watch, a Nikon camera and accessories worth £1800, among other items.
Officers investigating the incident have warned people to be alert.
PC Clare Horner-Locko said: “We have had at least eight of these reported to us in West Sussex, with another in East Sussex.
“The concern is there are more victims out there. We’d like to hear from anyone who has been affected by an incident like this, so we can gather as much information as possible and stop this scam from carrying on.”
The suspect is described as white, 5’ 10” to 6’ tall, of heavy build and with a strong Irish accent. He is usually wearing a baseball cap and a facemask.
Anyone with information is asked to report it online or call 101 quoting serial 664 of 03/09.