AN AUCTION site seller has issued a warning after losing £325 in an online scam.
Phil Prior, aged 36, of Todwick, advertised an iPad for sale on auction site eBay and was contacted by a man in Nigeria who said he would give him the full asking price.
The haulage worker then received an email purporting to be from the money transfer system PayPal, which many eBay account holders use.
It said the cash for the iPad had been received - but before it could be released proof of postage was needed to show it had been dispatched.
Mr Prior said he posted the computer to an address in Nigeria but became suspicious when he received another email, claiming to be from PayPal again, saying too much money had been paid by the buyer and a refund would be needed.
When Mr Prior called the genuine PayPal company he discovered the emails had been fake and he was the victim of a scam.
Mr Prior turned detective and managed to track down the parcel he posted, even finding the number of the postbag in which it was waiting for dispatch at Heathrow Airport.
He presented South Yorkshire Police with details of the scam but claims officers said they were unable to act.
He told The Star: “When I told them exactly where the parcel had been sent and where it was they told me they were powerless to intercept the post.
“There are laws to stop fraud, yet there appears to be laws to stop the police doing anything about it.
“)The Postal Service Act stops the police from intercepting the post even though offences have been committed.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We received a call from Mr Prior stating he had sold an iPad on eBay and had posted it to an address in Nigeria before receiving payment.
“He said he believed he had been scammed and wanted officers to intercept the parcel and return it to him.
“The law is clear that officers cannot stop or interfere with a parcel that is in transit unless there are concerns it may contain injurious, indecent or live items.”
She said eBay makes it clear to sellers that items should not be sent until payment is confirmed.
“There is currently no police investigation into this as Mr Prior did not want to make a statement, despite officers offering to visit his address.”