Facebook Marketplace Scams and Dealing with Scams

Facebook Marketplace Scams and Dealing with Scams and Fraud

Facebook Marketplace is an excellent resource for finding deals and generating income from almost anything you no longer use. However, it’s also full with con artists looking to trick and steal from you. In 2022, there were over 70,000 instances of purchase fraud on Facebook Marketplace. That is about 200 instances every day!

Here’s all the information you need to recognise a Facebook Marketplace scam and safeguard your funds, whether you’re buying or selling.

How can one Spot a Facebook Marketplace Scam?

There are three primary categories of Facebook Marketplace scams that one may encounter: scams involving buyers, sellers, and listings.

Purchaser Frauds

Scams aimed at buyers specifically target sellers that use Facebook Marketplace. Fraudsters try to obtain goods without paying for them by posing as buyers. They might entail:

  • After making a purchase from you, someone reports the money as fraudulent.
  • Denying receiving their thing or items when they were delivered.
  • Claiming they will pay after receiving the merchandise but then neglecting to do so.

Seller Frauds

Scams involving sellers target customers who shop on Facebook Marketplace. Without having to deliver the thing, their goal is to take your money. A dishonest vendor will frequently:

  • Don’t send the things you paid for (they could not have had them to begin with).
  • Request a deposit on anything you are picking up in person.
  • Provide you something that is very different from what you ordered. For instance, in far worse shape than what the listing indicated.

Listing Frauds

Listing scams are those in which there is dishonest advertising of the product for sale. This might seem as follows:

  • An costly item that’s being offered for incredibly little money. When a deal appears too good to be true, it usually is, and the item or listing could be fraudulent.
  • As stated in the product description or when you query about it, the seller invites interested parties to get in touch with them outside of Marketplace.

Tips for safeguarding your funds when use Facebook Marketplace

Sadly, a lot of the telltale signs of a Facebook Marketplace scam only become visible after it’s too late.

Therefore, we sought the advice of Ben Fleming, our resident fraud specialist, on how to use Facebook Marketplace securely and steer clear of frauds.

Examine the individual you are interacting with’s profile. The majority of Facebook users have been on the platform for years, not just weeks or months. It’s possible that a recently formed account was made with the intent to defraud individuals.
Verify the item’s pricing. Items on Facebook Marketplace must to be priced in accordance with their actual market worth. Nobody offers to sell expensive, brand-new goods at a discount. For instance, it’s most likely a scam if you see a PlayStation 5 for £50!
Steer clear of bank transfers for payments. Sending money to someone is similar to giving them cash. Treat Facebook Marketplace the same way you would not give £20 to a stranger on the street in the hopes that they would send you something!
Never open links that you are sent, and never divulge any personal information that isn’t absolutely required. Later, a con artist might utilise this information to perpetrate more fraud.
Steer clear of gift cards.

They are practically untraceable and offer instant access to cash, which is why scammers love them. It’s possible that someone requesting gift cards from you or accepting one as payment is not being honest. If you can, pay for everything using PayPal. By doing this, buyers and sellers are protected in the event that something goes wrong. However, unless you know the vendor directly, avoid using “Friends and Family” as this will eliminate your protection!
Make sure your shipment is trackable, and go straight to the courier’s website to enter the tracking number—don’t use any links you receive—to view it. This will comfort you as a customer that your order is on its way. Additionally, if you require it, it gives you, the seller, confirmation of shipping and delivery.
If you’re closing a sale in person, meet in a public area. Make sure you bring someone with you if you are unable to, such as if the item is too big.
Use Facebook for any correspondence. It could be helpful to have a record of your conversations if there are any problems with the purchase or payment down the road.

Additionally, if you’re a vendor on Facebook Marketplace:

Please pay before posting. It could be challenging to obtain your thing back or get the buyer to pay for it if you post the item and they don’t pay.
Emails or screenshots cannot be accepted as payment verification. A scammer may fabricate emails and screenshots to appear as though you have been paid when you haven’t. Until you can see the money in your PayPal or bank account, payment has not been received.
If you deal with cash, get a special pen that can identify fake notes. These days, polymer notes are more prevalent than paper notes, so be sure the one you choose is compatible with fresh notes.

You should use your account to report any Facebook Marketplace scams you come across. Notifying Action Fraud about it is also a smart move. Get in touch with your bank right once if you paid money to a scammer after falling for their tricks. Also, you ought to report it to the police in your area.

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