Police are warning members of the public of an online scam which left a couple from Barnsley £320 out of pocket.
The pair recently decided they wanted to buy a parrot and visited a website where users can search for and by birds from sellers.
After seeing an advert for a Macaw parrot, they began email correspondence with a male seller named Gary Bell. A deal was agreed whereby they would pay £320 via online money transfer website Moneygram.
Moneygram is a legitimate money transfer business but their website states that it should not be used for any internet purchases as their transfers are untraceable and are only appropriate for sending sums to people known to each other such as family members.
After transferring the agreed amount but the purchase never materialising, the couple soon realised that they had been victims of fraud and contacted police. Later searches of the website where they originally saw the advertisement, showed that the same advert was being used with various different names including Fra Jacques Nji, Scott Andrews and Ernest Asongwe.
PC Nick Mount said: “You should be cautious of all internet sales and ensure you read all website policies and safety advice before approving a sale. Like the Moneygram website states, it should only be used for transfer between two known parties so if you are asked to use this as part of a transaction, please decline and stop all contact with the advertiser.”