Facebook Marketplace offers a simple method to interact with buyers and sellers in your neighborhood and, occasionally, con artists whether you’re trying to sell some of your possessions or discover a fantastic deal on someone else’s. Here is a list of some of the most typical Facebook Marketplace scams and advice on safeguarding your interests as a buyer or a vendor.
How Do Scams on Facebook Marketplace Operate?
Scammers have created a variety of strategies to deceive Facebook Marketplace consumers, and each one operates uniquely. Buyer scams often happen when someone tries to trade or acquire something without paying. In seller scams, a person advertises a product for sale but fails to deliver the product on time.
The Facebook Marketplace Scams You Can Fall For
Fraudulent vendors try everything, from advertising false rental homes to selling defective and counterfeit items. Learn about these frauds before purchasing on Facebook Marketplace.
An unrealistic deal
Have you just come upon a listing for the most popular Nike sneakers at a significant discount? The shoes are probably fakes.
Before making a purchase, request to see a live video, several images, or even the original sales receipt of the shoes. Pay with PayPal or another way that offers security in case they’re fake by using one of these.
A False Rental House
Don’t transfer a deposit until you, or a trusted friend or relative, have been able to tour the property to ensure it is as described and still available. The house advertised may be just what you’re searching for.
Scammers will promote houses that aren’t available for rent, collect the money, and then disappear.
A Defective Item
That game console you just purchased for $200? Despite the listing’s claims to the contrary, it is ineffective. You didn’t plug it in when you gave the vendor the $200 at your meeting spot in the McDonald’s parking lot. And you won’t ever again come across that merchant on Facebook.
Before paying for anything, it is advisable to turn on and test any electronics or other devices that might not function.
Trick and Bait
Advertising one thing while attempting to replace it is known as a bait and switch. When you finally find what you’ve been looking for, the vendor informs you that it isn’t available and substitutes another, more costly one.
If a bargain is not what you had in mind, don’t hesitate to back out.
Skip any offers or contests for free stuff if you see them. It’s probably a phishing scam. When you click a link to enter the contest, malware or a virus might be downloaded, and get access to your private data.
What to Watch Out For When Selling on Facebook Marketplace
Not just marketplace purchasers are vulnerable to fraud. There are several ways that a buyer on Facebook Marketplace might con you. Using a prepaid shipping label, a verification code, or an overpayment, a dishonest buyer might fool you.
Here is a closer look at how these con artists operate and advice on how to sell on Facebook Marketplace without encountering phony customers.
Lost packages and Prepaid Shipping Labels
Be wary of any bidder that requests to provide you with a prepaid shipping label. The shipping label will be valid, but once the item has been shipped, the buyer may ask to have it delivered to a different address than the one listed on the shipping label. After that, they’ll say the shipment was never received.
Some customers choose not to use prepaid labels and instead try to claim that the things they purchased were never delivered. By Facebook’s Purchase Protection Policy, they then ask for a refund from the trustworthy party in the transaction, which is you.
To avoid falling victim to one of these scams, ensure you never utilize a buyer’s prepaid shipping label and have tracking information for any shipments involved.
Requests for phone numbers
A “buyer” requests that you text them to set up an immediate pickup of the goods. That is an effort to obtain your phone number, after which the con artist might swiftly register for a Google voice number, causing a verification code to be delivered to your phone. The con artist will ask you to give the code to prove you are a natural person.
That code will unlock the Google Voice number, allowing the con artist to commit more frauds, such as stealing your identity.
Keep all conversations with buyers inside the Marketplace.
Imagine that the buyer and seller agree on a $20 sales price, but the buyer pays $50, notifies the seller of the mistake, and requests a refund of $30. It isn’t an issue until the bank catches up with you. It’s possible that the cheque or card that the merchant used to pay you was fake. In addition to the “overpayment” you returned, you are out of the first payment.
It’s recommended to reject overpayments and request the buyer to resend the money in the right amount.
Any online marketplace, including Facebook Marketplace, has con artists among its users. The main ideas to bear in mind are:
- Limit contact to Facebook only.
- Be aware of buyers and sellers who have just created their accounts or whose transaction requests seem out of the ordinary.
- Remain loyal to payment options protected by Facebook’s Purchase Protection Policy.
- Keep track of any shipments.
- Listen to your instincts and avoid any transaction that even the slightest bit makes you uneasy.
- Lastly, keep up with the most recent Facebook Marketplace frauds.
With all of this in mind, you ought to be able to use the platform to purchase and sell smoothly and without incident.