Sunderland woman’s Facebook scam promised victims ‘Instantly Ageless’ cosmetics

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A woman tricked customers into handing over their money for beauty products they would never receive after she advertised them on Facebook.

Cheri Faulkner, 24, encouraged unsuspecting women to part with their money by placing adverts for “Instantly Ageless” cosmetics, Sunderland magistrates heard.

I was trying to sort my life out. I don’t know why I did it.

Cheri Faulkner

Prosecutor Janice Bellamy said one victim, who lives in West Yorkshire, responded to the advert on March 30, by sending Faulkner a Facebook message.

She then transferred £14 to Faulkner’s bank account, sending another message to advise her that she had paid. “After a couple of weeks when she hadn’t received the goods, she was told there was a delay with the items and they would be dispatched soon,” Ms Bellamy said.

“She tried to contact her several times and each time she made an excuse.

“She eventually asked for a refund. Faulkner agreed, but she then decided she couldn’t honour the refund and then blocked her on Facebook leaving no way of contacting her.”

Police were called and Faulkner, of River View, Sunderland, admitted fraud by false representation.

She also asked for a further count of fraud, committed three days earlier, on March 27, to be taken into consideration.

On that occasion another victim paid £11 into Faulkner’s bank account for products she never received.

After her arrest Faulkner admitted she had sent goods to some people who paid “but not to everybody”.

“I was trying to sort my life out. I don’t know why I did it,” she told officers, but then accepted her actions amounted to fraud.

The first victim said in a statement, read out in court: “This matter makes you feel you can’t trust anybody.

“I feel that she is scamming people and has no intention to send anything.”

Ms Bellamy added: “The other injured party said that she is aware this has happened to other people and there is a Facebook group called ‘Conned by Cheri Faulkner’, warning other people to be against purchasing items from this defendant.”

The court heard that, on March 18, just days before she defrauded the first of her two latest victims, she was convicted of another fraud in the sum of £158.32, committed in Lincolnshire in July 2013.

Kate Meek, defending, said Faulkner, who is four-months pregnant, moved to Sunderland to be with her boyfriend last year.

“She works for Npower’s callcentre, ironically advising people, who have got into trouble with payments, setting up repayment plans,” Ms Meek said.

“The situation is relatively straightforward. She decided she was going to make some extra money buying products in bulk and selling them online.

“She had every intention to deliver the items people had purchased.

“Her financial skills are not as they might have been and she got in some difficulty handling everything.

“There is no suggestion that the enterprise was set up as fraudulent from the outset.

“However she acted in a fraudulent manner when people were chasing up their goods.”

Faulkner was fined £165 and was told to pay £85 costs and a £20 surcharge. She was also ordered to reimburse her victims by way of compensation.