I was contacted by someone wanting to buy a bird cage I was selling on Facebook market place. He said he couldn't collect as he was at work he told me he would send a cash envelope via dpd and that I would have to pay the insurance. I would be fully refunded the insurance money which is 100 pounds plus the money for the cage when I courier comes to my house tomorrow.

At first he didn't say I'd have to pay anything he said he would pay the insurance, so I thought it meant that he was paying and didn't need anything from me, he didn't explain things very well, but then I received a email from dpd but it looked strange saying I had to confirm my address because a paymneorder in my name for 150 pounds and that they are awaiting the insurance costs.

I messaged the man back and told him that I don't trust this. After he's been constantly messaging me threatening me with the police are coming to arrest me tomorrow, I explained to him that I have no money in the bank to pay this. He just keeps pushing me to click a link that he keeps sending me saying I will have to worry if he doesn't get his money back he claims he's paid the insurance and other money to send this cash envelope to me.

Now I'm terrified that police will come tomorrow as he says or a stranger will turn up pretending to be from dpd which he also said would happen, please can anyone help me

  • 70
    Further, typical scammer behavior is to threaten (if you do not pay, then bad things will happen) and to introduce urgency (I need to have your money tomorrow).
    – MC Emperor
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:37
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    It's a scam. You know that. If he is sending messages in French he is quite possibly in France or further away. The chances of him visitinmg or sending anyone are about zero. I would advise the Police. Scammimg is usually of low interest. Thretas of the sort he was making are more likely to be of interest to them. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 10:24
  • 8
    If you don't pay for a service, what typically happens is you don't get the service (insurance). Nothing has happened yet. The police isn't going to arrest you.
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 12:44
  • 58
    BREAK CONTACT. It's just that simple. Some people have an irresistable urge to keep replying and replying and replying and replying and replying and replying and replying and replying and replying. STOP IT
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:47
  • 14
    100 pounds insurance? Is the cage made from gold? Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 8:38

5 Answers 5


Please, take a deep breath and realize that empty threats are typical scammer behavior. He is behind a keyboard far away. He does not actually want police involved (and he can't simply have them arrest someone on his say-so). He is very unlikely to have anyone come to your house. He simply wants to scare you into sending him money. The email from "dpd" is likely fake, if you haven't already realized that. The best response is to ignore the scammer.

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    Thank you for your reply I've never been in this situation before regarding a scammer it was a scary situation especially when I have a young child Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 0:29
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    @nanoman Maybe you could elaborate on whether it's a good idea to report this case to some authority like the police or something.
    – MC Emperor
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 9:44
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    This answer is 100% correct. Id add to.the end "and block, and be wary of any text, email, SMS or any othrr communication that comes down to "you need to send someone money". Scammers often try that as well. They usually work in scammer offices with colleagues, overseas. So he may phone or text pretending to be DPD,or police or royal mail or... Well, anyone. If you get anything like that, ask here again if unsure. Also congratulations on trusting your senses and stopping before sending cash. Well done!
    – Stilez
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:12

This is 100% a scam. Break contact immediately.

  • delete the ad
  • Do not reply to any contact
  • block the user on Facebook
  • block the email from scammer and "dpd"
  • does he have your phone number? Block him on every platform he contacts you on: sms, WhatsApp, block call.
  • if he switches to another number; block it immediately without replying.
  • Do not plead, or beg or try to reason with him. Just block everything.

He will quickly realise he is blown and will move on elsewhere and stop wasting time with you.

As for his "threats" - disregard them utterly. It is an absolute joke to imagine the UK police would "arrest" someone because some random guy on the internet told them you weren't playing along with his scam.

Don't get scared - get mean. This **** is trying to rip-off money that you could spend on your daughter. See it like that and act like an angry mother bear protecting her cub.

  • 21
    Disagreed on "delete the ad". One should not refrain from doing business because of bad actors. Bad actors must be dealt with (with a proper kick in their bottom parts, at least metaphorically) Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 20:41
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ On the other hand, we have to motivate Facebook and other marketplaces to monitor activity more closely and protect honest traders. At the very least, whatever account the scammer used to read the ad and respond should get hosed. Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 12:10
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    I agree with everything here. I think Facebook has done a stellar job of proving that it is an unsafe and unreliable platform for you to conduct business. There are countless other platforms for selling items. Look for one that doesn't require you to disclose your personal information until you are ready to do so.
    – Beau
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 21:22
  • Maybe notify facebook also. I was once almost scammed on airbnb, and airbnb removed the scam-ad after I notified them. I don't know if facebook has customer service.
    – Ivana
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 7:24

In addition to the other answers, please be careful with possible follow-up emails from "DPD" (which are fake as well).

There is a raise of scams where a "courier company" ("DPD" in your case) has something for you and you "need to pay [insurance, delivery fees, ...] in order to get your [package, ...]".

This is just to say that you must also ignore "DPD" threatening you to send the police/army/prime minister because [whatever reason they can give].

Simply ignore everything and the scammer will go away (do not reply to anything), they do not have time to spend with someone who will not cooperate.

  • 3
    To add to this, if you get a suspicious message that claims to be from DPD but you're not sure about it, go to their official website (use Google, it's dpd.co.uk for the UK), contact customer services, and ask them if it is genuine. Scams involving delivery companies are common (usually it's "we have a parcel for you, send us money to deliver it") so all big companies should be aware of scammers and be happy to help (and to protect their reputation).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 15:17
  • 1
    @StuartF Some scammers send an actual parcel, then (if the recipient accepts it) someone "my parcel was accidentally sent to your address, can I take it?". I'm not sure exactly how this can harm the recipient, but it can.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:06
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    @gerrit - The bad guy buys goods with stolen credit cards, has them sent to you and picks them up. When or if the authorities look at how the stolen cards were used, it looks like you ordered a bunch of merchandise with stolen cards. You are left holding the bag for lawsuits or criminal charges.
    – Freiheit
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:44
  • 1
    @Freiheit: Now I'm curious how one avoids that? Practice in my area (US, NYC) is that packages usually get dropped on front stoop with no one around to accept or refuse. Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 20:09
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    @DanielR.Collins Sometimes it is also a brushing scam, as well: uspis.gov/news/scam-article/brushing-scam Short version: Scammer has an Amazon page selling an expensive item. They place an order for that expensive item in your name, to your address. Then they actually mail you something cheap and light, with tracking. When the tracking indicates that it was delivered to you, you look like a genuine customer who genuinely received a package. Then they write a glowing 5-star review on their expensive item, from a "verified purchase". Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 20:57

This is a classic advance fee scam.

Just molded to your circumstances.

The scam is, we're about to do a profitable transaction but I just need you to pay me some money first (it's better known as "a Nigerian prince with an inheritance", or an African lottery you never even bought a ticket for, but it's the same basic scam).

Depending on items, platform and conditions, scammer contact may be rare, or it may be very frequent. When I sold some specialty items, I fielded dozens of such scams to find 1 legit buyer.

All they want is you to send the $50, after that you'll never hear from them again.

They certainly aren't going to call the police on you, they are criminals!

Anyway, all contact with them is a 100% waste of time, as they do not want your items and will never pay you 1 cent.

  • 7
    When you try to sell stuff online, 90% of your interactions will be stuff like this. — really? I've sold stuff online (not often, but at times) and was never contacted by scammers.
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 7:58
  • My mum regularly sells on Facebook marketplace (a few times a week) and very rarely has encountered scammers. It's closer to 5%, maybe even less. Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 13:03
  • depends on location, site used, and what you are selling, usually.
    – eps
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 15:17
  • @gerrit Edited to accommodate what you say. Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 20:23
  • @eps agreed, edited. Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 20:24

As others have said, it's clearly a scam.

  • No one in their right mind will send money by post or courier. There are tons of faster, cheaper and more secure ways to do it. Many if not most postal services and courier companies actually prohibit sending cash through them.

  • Insurance is never paid by the recipient. The only cases where a courier company or postal service may ask for money are:

    • If you are buying COD (cash on delivery): you buy something, and the delivery company gets the money and pays it back to the sender before giving you the package. Since you are selling, does not apply.
    • If there are import taxes or duties to be paid. That happens if you buy something from abroad. Not your case.
    • If there's a shortfall in postage. Only happens for regular postal service where the sender adds stamps on the package or letter. Never happens for courier companies. And it's usually symbolic, not more than a few quid.
  • There is no package with cash on its way to you. If you really wanted to have fun, ask for the tracking number. Then use it on the official site of the reputable courrier company which you'll find by your own means. Do not follow any links they send, and do not trust the ekspressdelivericompani they tell you they used. If it's not a well known, established company like UPS, DHL, Fedex, DPD and the like, forget about it. Probability that you will get a tracking number from such a company? Zero.

They won't send anybody to your place. There is no package arriving tomorrow. If ever there was one (no chance), just refuse the delivery.

These guys are operating from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. They don't have time to come pay a visit. They'll just move on to the next target. Cut all contact, block them, report them on any of the platforms you used, and be done with it.

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