Western Australian Police have issued a scam warning over an email that threatens sellers of high-value items on the internet with arrest if they don't pay a "delivery fee" on behalf of the alleged buyer.
The Technology Crime Investigation Unit has released a copy of the email, which carried a WA Police banner, badge and logo.
Police said their branding was being used "to provide a false sense of security to the person being targeted."
The email claimed that collaboration exists between PayPal and the Police in an attempt "to force victims to send these fraudsters money", the Police said.
Victims of the scam had allegedly tried to sell high value items such as cars online.
"The purchaser concocts a story as to why they cannot collect the item (working offshore, out of the country) and they require the victim to send a fee ($650 to $1200) to their delivery agent overseas to arrange delivery of the item," police said.
"For some reason the purchaser cannot pay the delivery agent directly so they ask the seller to pay the delivery agent via a money transfer service."
According to the WA Police, the victim was told the purchase price and the fee would then be credited by the purchaser to their PayPal account, after the victim had wired the fee across to the fake delivery agent.
"When the victim does not pay this fee they receive an email (containing WA Police signage) threatening legal action by Australian police," the WA Police said.
They advised anyone who received the email to delete it immediately.