Undercover cop helps bust eBay scam

Mobile phone duo in the dock next week

An undercover police officer posed as a postie to catch fraudsters using a house in Luton to receive mobile telephones won on eBay, after conning sellers into believing they had paid for them.

Temitope Otukoya, 28, and Olamrewaju Otukoya, 42, of Creswell Gardens, were both remanded in custody at Luton Magistrates' Court and will appear at Luton Crown Court next Friday.

Police discovered that fake Paypal emails were being sent out to sellers, telling them that money had been transferred into their account.

By the time they found the phones had not been paid for, the items had already been sent.

During an undercover operation, a police officer delivered 13 parcels to a Luton address and a man there was arrested after 29 mobile phones were recovered.

A second address was also searched and another man arrested, after telephones, counterfeit passports and fake driving licences were seized.

Det Con Ian Williams, of the economic crime unit, said: "Obviously the Paypal system exists to minimise the risk of fraudulent activities like the one we have discovered, but that doesn't mean that sellers don't need to be alert.

"It is essential that you check any communications that claim to be from Paypal against ones that you know to be genuine and that you follow the company's instructions and read the policies carefully so that you re fully protected.

"If you can't see the agreed payment in your Paypal account, you should not be sending the goods off. And you should be exceptionally careful about making payments outside the secure systems, where you will have no protection at all."