Edinburgh crime: Man who says he was targeted by 'fake banking app' scammers claims they stole his passport when scam to get Rolex failed
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Simon Kosmicki from Dalkeith, put his Rolex on sale on Facebook market place, as well as various specialised groups, for £5,000.
He explained: “A guy contacted me, willing to buy my watch.
"It was fishy from the beginning as he was not interested in lowering the price.
"He was happy to buy it at the price it was.”
After arranging for the man to come round to his house to view the watch, Simon was surprised when two men turned up at his door.
He described them as young, and wearing designer clothes.
"They looked like rich parents kids,” he said, “like they didn’t care about money.”
The two men checked the watch and said that they were happy to buy, and handed Simon a phone to enter his bank details.
The screen displayed what looked like a banking app, and showed the ‘confirmation’ of the transfer.
"I checked my own banking application,” continued Simon, “and the money obviously never hit the account.
“They started saying they were from Northern Ireland, and because it was coming from an Irish account it would take longer.”
The men then said they were calling their bank, a woman answered and ‘confirmed’ that the money had left the account.
"Because I was skeptical, I was not going to let them out with the watch.
"They started putting pressure on me. I started to say it looks very suspicious."
Simon offered to make coffee while they waited for the money to transfer, but they disagreed.
They then said that if they could take some of Simon’s formal ID with them as a form of deposit, which they would return when they got the watch.
“I started to feel something wrong was going on.”
It was here Simon text his neighbour and asked them to call round, as a safety precaution.
When the neighbour arrived, the two men left. It was only once they’d gone, Simon realised they had swiped his passport from a table in the room.
"I quickly ran outside after them, but they had gone.”
Simon reported the incident to the police.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that officers in Dalkeith are investigating a report of the theft of a passport at a property in the Esk Point area, which was reported on Wednesday, 16 February.
"Enquiries into the matter are ongoing.”
The account of this incident matches that of Geo Real in Fife, who has spoken about how here Gucci bag was ‘purchased’ by two men of similar description using a fake banking app on the same day.
Police in the Capital have put out a warning of this fake banking app scam saying: “ Check you have received payment using your own device prior to handing items over and do not be pressured into giving items without receiving the money.
“Call 101 to report fraud or 999 in an emergency.”