By Dan Santy 10/08 Updated: 10/08 14:41
DETECTIVES are appealing for help finding a man wanted in connection with an online shopping scam.
Stephen Reynolds is believed to have defrauded victims in Rugby and elsewhere, with people conned into handing money over for items bought online and then not receiving them.
The 53-year-old is thought to have taken several thousands of pounds in 17 incidents, and police believe there are more victims who have not yet come forward.
Police say the scam is currently claiming a new victim every week.
Buyers are duped on sites such as eBay and Gumtree into purchasing items at cheap prices.
When they make contact with the seller via email, he exchanges numbers with them and talks them through the item, which can range between anything from second-hand juke boxes and bicycles to caravans and luxury cars.
Reynolds then asks for half, or sometimes all of the money, to be transferred into his personal bank account, as he does not have a PayPal account.
He then confirms he has received the money and will send out the goods - but he then ceases all communication with the customer.
Reynolds uses a fake address in Acocks Green, Birmingham – a void property – but also uses others across the country. They either relate to hotels or derelict land.
Stephen Reynolds – who also goes by the name of Stephen Scott – is known to frequent Newtown in Wales, Bristol, Birmingham, Devon and Cornwall.
His latest victims are from Rugby, Glasgow and Plymouth.
Detective Constable Arita Chonkria, from West Midlands Police’s economic crime unit, said: "We have already seen many victims of this scam and we need to stop it from happening to anyone else.
"I would urge anyone who knows where Stephen Reynolds may be to get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can speak to him about these offences."
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