Three people have been attacked in Melbourne’s east, and a car windshield smashed, after a vigilante scheme to trap an online scammer backfired.

It started on Monday when a 27-year-old man purchased an iPhone from a young seller through Facebook Marketplace for $1750 before discovering the device was fake.

He and a friend arranged to meet the seller again on Wednesday. They managed to get him into their car while a female friend drove them around the streets of Richmond for 45 minutes.

“We told him that we don’t want to spoil your life by going to the police station, We just want our money back,” the buyer’s friend told 7 News.

“We were trying to convince him that whatever sh*t you’re doing bro, this is bad. You’re so young.

“He said, ‘I’m a hustler, I want easy money’.”

The seller managed to contact three other friends who arrived and helped the scammer our of the car but not before things turned ugly.

The group of young men attacked the buyer and his friend, while their female companion managed to stay safe on the sidelines.

Vision of the ordeal shows the group of young men push and shove the buyer before they start throwing rocks at their car; at one point the scammer leaps up onto the car’s bonnet and delivers a stomp to the windshield, causing it to shatter.

The group fled before police could arrive.

Victoria Police has confirmed it is investigating and advising people who buy from Marketplace to meet up to complete the transaction outside a police station.

The buyer also had some advice of his own: “Do not trust a kid on Facebook Marketplace,” he said.

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