What to Know About Facebook Marketplace Scam?

Facebook marketplaces are a cool haven for people looking for specific items, properties, food, and other services they need. The good thing about the platform is that many sellers will give you a Louis Vuitton bag at a very affordable price, and they are not as expensive as the ones you find in the malls. See more about online selling tips.

You’ll see many legitimate items on the social media platform where various individuals have excellent ratings and a history of making successful transactions in the past. There are genuine merchants and customers as well.

However, not all of them are true, and as in any industry, scammers are everywhere, and they are constantly trying to look for the victims that will fall into their schemes. Knowing the red flags and the most common rackets in the Facebook marketplace will help you avoid them and ensure you only deal with reputable ones. Being wise can translate into preventing money, items, time, and heartaches, so here are some tips for you.

Why are there Fraudsters on the Platform?

E-commerce sites let people register their items for sale without charge. Everyone can buy, sell, or trade just like they would on eBay or Craigslist, and if you’ve been using these sites before, it’s easy to feel like you know your way when you’re on Facebook.

However, not everything you see on social media is true, and if you feel like there’s something fishy going on, run in the opposite direction. You might have found your uncle or aunt selling bikes and books, but they can be fraudulent, and various social media takeovers and hacking have been reported. The common Facebook marketplace scams will steal the identity of someone, message you, and convince you to send money to a different bank account with a fake business.

Direct interaction is very common, where buyers and sellers message each other without interference from third parties. This is where you should practice due diligence and pause and think about the conversation for a second. Never be forced into agreeing to a high-pressure sale, or you will regret it later.

Examples of Scams That You May Encounter

It’s worth noting that someone with fake accounts is not after your money. Instead, they will want to steal your username and password to message your loved ones and acquaintances to scam them. They will break into your profile, bank account, or identity, so you should never give out any information that will get you into trouble. Some of the common ones are the following:

Asking for Items First Before Payment

Giving the item first is never a good idea when selling something on the platform. Always ask for payment upfront, and don’t get carried away with the scammers’ reasons, convoluted drama, and intense storytelling. Instead, get the money and send the goods afterward to be a straight transaction.

Avoid Too Good-to-be-True Prices

Saw an iPhone on the marketplace that’s worth $50? Then beware and expect it to be fake. Counterfeit clothes, bags, shoes, and electronics are the most common items sold below their standard prices.

If you don’t want to be ripped off, ask for a meetup with the other person and do some inspections to ensure you’re getting genuine jewelry or precious metal. Know the features of the items, and if the phone is lagging and the battery is not long-lasting, you might have been scammed.

Test the Laptops or Gaming Consoles First

Electronics are more prevalent in the marketplace, where people are always selling things they are no longer using. However, verify if that tablet, computer, PS4, or other gadget is still in good condition. 

Charge them and boot them out. Try out some games, inspect their internet connectivity, and ensure there are no account issues, such as the case with iCloud, so that you can install new apps.

Never Refund Overpayment

Overpayment refunds are very old scam tactics, and someone might have accidentally sent you a check with an amount that’s way higher than what you expected. Bouncing checks are common, so verify them with your local bank first. 

If you proceed with the request and transfer the excess money to the scammers’ bank account, you don’t only lose it but the items that you sell as well. You must also pay the fees related to bounced checks, so be careful.

Don’t Give the Codes Texted on your Phone

You might be asked for that 4 or 6-digit code that you might have received as a text message during a transaction, but never give it to someone. Someone may have been trying to access your account, banking information, or app, and this two-factor authentication is what they need to become successful with their hacking items.

Authorization codes should be private; you don’t need to verify your identity with someone you never met. Even if it’s a Google Voice number, be wary and don’t let anyone steal your account, as they can be used for more nefarious activities, and you’ll be held liable.