FACEBOOK Marketplace users in Gloucestershire are being warned to watch out for fraudsters.

A Facebook post from Gloucestershire police has highlighted the growing number of reported thefts from online sellers, many of whom have been scammed by fraudsters using fake accounts.

In such cases these fraudsters have arranged to meet the seller in person so that they can see the item being sold for themselves before making their purchase.

The unsuspecting seller has then handed the object to the buyer before they have even paid for it, allowing them to make a hasty exit with the stolen item.

Gloucestershire police have issued the following advice. Always meet your buyer in a public place that you are familiar with. This could be anywhere from a local car park to a coffee shop or a restaurant. Just be absolutely sure that the location is covered by CCTV, and always bring a friend or relative with you.

Also, if you are at all suspicious of the buyer during your meeting, try taking a photo or video of them so that they can be identified in the case of any thefts or legal disputes.

If you believe you may have been a victim of this contact Gloucestershire police by calling 101 or speak to your local officer.