POLICE across the borough have warned residents about fraudsters sending fake PayPal emails to people selling items online.

Since the start of the year, 21,349 crime reports were made to group Action Fraud about fake PayPal emails across the country.

This led to victims reportedly losing a total of £7,891,077 during the year.

Those targeted included people selling jewellery, furniture and electronics via online marketplaces.

Dannielle Lee, the cyber protect officer for South Yorkshire, said: “Criminals have been targeting people selling items online, by sending them emails purporting to be from PayPal.

“The emails trick victims into believing they have received payment for the items they are selling on the platform.

“Typically, after receiving these emails, victims will then send the item to the criminal.

“This leaves them at a further disadvantage having not received any payment for the item and also no longer being in possession of it.”

The team have offered advice to online sellers with some simple steps:

“Sellers beware: If you are selling items on an online marketplace, be aware of the warning signs that your buyer is a scammer.

“Scammers may have negative feedback history, or may have recently set up a new account to avoid getting poor feedback.

“Don’t be persuaded into sending anything until you can verify you have received the payment.

“Scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

“Log into PayPal: If you receive a suspicious email, don’t act on the message or click on any links. Instead, open your browser, log into PayPal and check for any new activity.

“PayPal will also email or notify you in the app if you’ve received any payments.

“Check the basics: Look out for misspellings and grammatical errors, which can be a telltale sign of a scam.

“How to spot the difference: A PayPal email will address you by your first and last name, or your business name, and we will never ask you for your full password, bank account, or credit card details in a message.

“Avoid following links: If you receive an email you think is suspicious, do not click on any links or download any attachments.

“You can check where a link is going before you click on it by hovering over it - does it look legitimate?

“Keep tabs on your information: Limit the number of places where you store your payment information online by using a secure digital wallet like PayPal.

“If you are making a purchase online, consider using a protected payment method such as PayPal, so if your purchase doesn’t arrive or match the product description, PayPal can reimburse you.”

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.