A couple duped out of £2,000 have called in police – after falling victim to an online scam.

Stephen and Renata Bradeley, from Leek, caught a train to Cambridgeshire to complete the purchase of a £4,000 Mercedes Sprinter van after paying half of the money upfront.

But when they arrived to seal the deal neither the seller or the van were anywhere to be seen.

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English tutor Stephen, aged 65, said: “I had called the guy and agreed on a price. He told me that somebody else was interested and if I paid him a deposit it was mine. I got on my phone, put his details in, and it came up as a bank account match. I paid him 50 per cent upfront and arranged to pick the van up.

“We had two or three conversations on the phone. When we got to Cambridge I messaged him and called him and there was nothing, I started to get a bit worried.

“When we arrived at the address, there was no van and no person.

“We knocked on a neighbour’s house and she instantly shouted to her husband ‘Dave, there’s another one’. It turns out we were the eighth that weekend to pick the same van up.”

The Mercedes Sprinter the couple paid £2000 for

All eight victims have now started a WhatsApp group – and even more victims have since come forward.

Action Fraud UK statistics show 16,352 people have fallen victim to online shopping and auction fraud during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now Stephen has slammed Cambridgeshire…

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