Suppose you want to sell some of your belongings or discover a fantastic deal on someone else’s. In that case, Facebook Marketplace provides a simple method to interact with buyers and sellers in your region and fraudsters in certain circumstances. Here’s a rundown of some of the most prevalent Facebook Marketplace scams and how to avoid them as a customer or vendor.
What Are Facebook Marketplace Scams?
Scammers have invented several methods for defrauding Facebook Marketplace consumers, each of which works differently. Buyer scams often occur when someone attempts to acquire or exchange an item without paying. Seller scams happen when someone offers something for sale but fails to deliver the item as promised.
How to Avoid Scams as a Buyer on Facebook Marketplace
Fraudulent vendors try everything from selling counterfeit and defective items to creating false rental listings. Learn about these frauds before making a Facebook Marketplace transaction.
A Too-Good-To-Be-True Offer
Did you happen to come upon a listing for the most recent popular Nike sneakers, for example, at a fraction of the retail price? The shoes are most likely counterfeit.
Before committing to buying, request many images of the shoes, a live video, or even an actual sales receipt. Pay via PayPal or another method that protects you if they are fraudulent.
A Fraudulent Rental Property
The offered house may be exactly what you’re searching for but don’t pay a deposit until you or someone you trust has toured the property to ensure that it is as represented and available.
Scammers will promote houses that aren’t available for rent, accept payment, and disappear.
A Defective Item
That $200 game console you just bought? Even though the listing stated that it was little used, it does not operate. You gave the $200 to the vendor in your neighborhood McDonald’s parking lot without plugging it in. And you’ll never see that vendor again on Facebook.
Before you hand over money, switch on and test devices or other equipment that might not operate.
Switch and Bait
The basic bait-and-switch involves advertising one thing and then attempting to swap it. You notice an item you’ve been looking for for a long time, but the vendor informs you it’s unavailable and offers you another, more costly item.
If a bargain isn’t what you were looking for, don’t be scared to walk away.
If you find a free offer or a drawing for a free item, pass it up. It is most likely a phishing scam. When you click on a link to enter the picture, malware or a virus may be downloaded to access your personal information.
How to Avoid Scams as a Facebook Marketplace Seller
Marketplace shoppers aren’t the only ones who might fall victim to a scam. A buyer on Facebook Marketplace can defraud you in a variety of ways. A dishonest buyer may deceive you with a prepaid shipping label, a verification number, or an overpayment.
Here’s a deeper look at how these scams operate and how to avoid scamming customers on Facebook Marketplace.
Lost Packages and Prepaid Shipping Labels
Be wary of any customer who asks whether you can provide a prepaid mailing label. The label will be valid, but once the item is shipped, the customer can request that it be delivered to a different location than the one shown on the original shipping label. Then they’ll say the delivery never arrived.
According to Facebook’s Purchase Protection Policy, some customers skip the prepaid label fraud and claim their purchased items were never received. They then seek a refund from the honest individual in the transaction – you.
To avoid these frauds, never use a prepaid shipping label from a buyer and always have tracking information for any goods involved.
Requests for Phone Numbers
A “buyer” requests that you text them to arrange for rapid collection of the goods. That is an effort to obtain your phone number, after which the fraudster may swiftly register for a Google Voice number, which will result in a verification code being delivered to your phone. The scammer will ask you to transmit the code to prove your identity.
In truth, the code will unlock the Google Voice number, allowing the fraudster to carry out additional scams, such as stealing your identity.
Communicate with buyers only through the Marketplace.
Assume the buyer and seller agree on a $20 sales price, but the buyer pays $50, informs the seller of the error, and requests a refund of $30. That won’t be an issue until the bank catches up with you. The card used to pay you may have been stolen, or the check may have been fraudulent. You’re out of the initial money and the “overpayment” you returned.
It is advisable to deny overpayments and request that the buyer resend the payment correctly.
Scammers may appear on any online selling site, including Facebook Marketplace. Remember these crucial points:
- Limit all contact to Facebook.
- Be aware of buyers and sellers who have recently created profiles or have strange transaction expectations.
- Stick to payment methods covered by Facebook’s Purchase Protection Policy.
- Maintain records of any sent products.
- Trust your instincts and avoid any transaction that makes you even somewhat suspect.
- Finally, keep recent Facebook Marketplace frauds in mind.
With all this in mind, you should be able to purchase and sell on the Marketplace without incident.