Couple ‘mugged off’ after selling Xbox to take children on holiday

A couple who tried to sell an Xbox so they could take their kids on holiday have been left devastated after falling victim to a “terrifying” scam.

Paul Molloy and his partner Charlotte were desperately trying to raise some cash so they could take their four children away to Wales – as finances have been tight amid the cost of living crisis.

The couple listed the games console on Facebook Marketplace, and an interested buyer contacted Paul – arranging to come and pick it up from their home. However, Paul claims the man arrived an hour earlier than arranged on Saturday evening (April 29), when Charlotte was home alone with the pair’s young children.

“I told the man that I wouldn’t be home until 7pm and that my partner was in with the kids and didn’t feel comfortable doing the transaction on her own,” Paul said. “But he arrived early and it was pouring with rain outside so she let him in. Charlotte had asked him to show that he was sending the payment but as he was about to press send she got distracted by our newborn son who had started crying.”

Paul said a couple of minutes later he rang his partner to warn her that the payment hadn’t gone through, but by this time, the man had vanished from the area. He claims he has now seen another xBox go on sale on Facebook Marketplace which has the same distinctive mark of paint on it as his own device, reports the Manchester Evening News.

“I had listed the xBox for £300 on Facebook which we were going to use to take our kids to Wales as we’ve really been struggling with the cost of living,” he said. “But now we’ve had to cancel the holiday which we are devastated about. My partner feels very stupid and pretty violated having let someone like that into the home. Because I wasn’t there I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t the same man as I’d been messaging on Facebook. She is terrified about what could have happened.”

Charlotte added: “I am just frustrated. That was our last chance to go be able to take the kids away. I just feel like I’ve been such a mug. He showed me the banking app and he just said he had sent it but then my son started crying and he must have just cancelled the payment. This guy just came into my house with my kids there. It’s scary to think about what could have happened.”

Paul has reported the incident to GMP and is asking anyone who might have information to email him at [email protected].

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that the incident had been reported to them and passed on to Action Fraud. The M.E.N has approached Action Fraud for comment.

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