8 December 2023

14 Facebook Marketplace Scams You Must Be Aware Of

By Ronald Smith

So, have you ever heard of Facebook Marketplace? It’s been around since 2016 and let me tell you, it’s a pretty popular place. You see, just like all the real people who use this app to buy and sell stuff, there are also scammers who try to take advantage of it. Can you believe it? It’s true! In fact, I read this really interesting research that said in 2021, about 17% of people who used Facebook Marketplace got scammed. Can you imagine? And on top of that, guess what? There were about six fake accounts being posted every single minute! How crazy is that?

Now wait a minute, before you get all worried, let me give you some perspective. You know how many people use this tool every month? One billion! Yup, you heard that right. One billion people are accessing Facebook Marketplace monthly. So, don’t freak out just yet. But, here’s the deal – you need to know about these scams so you can protect yourself. It’s like arming yourself with knowledge, you know? So, let’s dig in and learn about these Facebook Marketplace scams together!

What’s the Deal with Facebook Marketplace Scams?

Alright, let’s get down to business. So, these scammers on Facebook Marketplace have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves. Seriously, they’re like magicians, but not the fun kind. They pretend to sell things that don’t even exist! Can you believe that? They’re basically just trying to trick you and take your money. And guess what? Some people actually fall for it. It’s called a delivery scam, where you pay for something, but it never actually shows up. Total bummer, right?

But wait, there’s more! These scammers also love to play games with your mind. They’ll try this thing called a phishing scheme. Fancy word, huh? Well, what they’re really doing is trying to trick you into giving them your personal information. Sneaky, right? So, you need to be super careful and never give out your personal info to anyone you don’t trust. Safety first, always!

Oh, and here’s another scam that’s really popular – the bait and switch. Sounds like some kind of fishing technique, but nope, it’s not about that. See, what these scammers do is they advertise something really expensive for a super low price. It’s like they want to lure you in with a great deal. But guess what? When you try to buy it, they’ll switch it for something way cheaper or maybe not even give you anything at all. Talk about a letdown, right?

Wow, can you believe that in just the second quarter of 2022, Facebook went after a whopping 1.4 billion shady accounts? It’s no wonder marketplace scams are so darn common.

But hey, I’ve got your back! Read on, and I’ll give you the lowdown on how to stay safe and smart on the Facebook Marketplace. Together, we’ll learn how to spot those sneaky red flags and only deal with legit users.

Here’s How to Steer Clear of Scammers on Facebook Marketplace:

  1. When you come across a seller, take a quick trip to Google and search their email address. This nifty trick will let you know if that email has been associated with any fraudulent activities in the past.
  2. If you’re on the hunt for a rental, keep your eyes peeled for red flags. Be wary of seeing multiple listings and loads of photos of the same property scattered across different websites. Something fishy might be going on!
  3. Car scammers are a crafty bunch, let me tell you. They might try to trick you by whipping up some counterfeit documents from eBay’s vehicle protection program. Stay sharp and double-check everything before you take the bait on Facebook.
  4. If a seller is dodging the idea of meeting you in person, that’s a major red flag. True-blue sellers should have no problem arranging a face-to-face interaction. Trust your gut and steer clear of any virtual transactions that feel sketchy.

14 Facebook Marketplace Scams You Must Be Aware Of

Watch Out for These Tricky Facebook Marketplace Tricks

There are some bad guys out there who might try to take advantage of you or someone in your family. I’m going to tell you about some of the biggest problems to watch out for, but remember, there are other tricks they might use too.

1. Tricky Zelle Scams

Have you ever heard of the Zelle app? It’s a way for people to send money to each other quickly and easily. But watch out, because scammers can use it too! They might trick you into thinking they’re sending you money, but really they just want your information or to get you to send them a refund. They might even say you need to upgrade your account first. If something seems fishy, you can always contact Zelle to double check.

2. Sneaky Shipping Scams

Here’s another way scammers try to trick people on Facebook Marketplace. They might ask you to pay for an item, the cost of shipping, and even insurance. But watch out, because once they get the money, they’ll disappear and you’ll be left with nothing. So be careful when someone asks you to pay for the shipping or insurance, and if something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to walk away.

Hey, there! Just a heads up, be careful when it comes to transactions through mail. Facebook’s got you covered when it comes to shipping, but other peer-to-peer methods might not be as safe.

3. Scams to Watch Out for on Facebook Marketplace

There are a bunch of sneaky tactics that buyers might use to try and swindle you out of your money. Some might ask you to make payments outside of Facebook. But don’t worry, you’re protected if you use Facebook Checkout or PayPal.

If you want to check out reviews from other buyers, you can only see them through the Android or iPhone app. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see them on your mobile browser or computer. If someone agrees to buy your item without negotiating or asking any questions, it’s probably a scam.

4. Don’t Fall for Car Scams on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook users have spotted a few scams that you should be aware of. For example, some scammers might ask you for a deposit and then give you a fake address when it’s time to meet up.

Before I jump into any deals, I always make sure to get the car inspected first. It’s important to have all the information before making a purchase. I usually check The Kelley Blue Book or other trusted online platforms to get an idea of the fair price for the vehicle. And if I’m still not sure about its history, I can even reach out to the Federal Trade Commission for a vehicle history report. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

5. The Tricky PayPal Facebook Marketplace Scams

Now, here’s something that caught my attention. You see, even when using trusted payment methods like PayPal, you need to be careful. Those crafty scammers try to convince you to use PayPal’s friends and family payment option. But that’s a clever trick to take advantage of you. Why? Well, the thing is, this payment option is outside of PayPal’s purchase protection policy. So, if you go for it, you might end up with a defective or even a fake item from the seller. And guess what? Once they have your payment, they disappear into thin air. Not cool, right?

6. The Sneaky Facebook Marketplace Phone Number Scam

I wanted to give you a heads up about a situation that may come up when you’re selling something online. Sometimes scammers will try to contact you to make sure you’re a real person and that your account is legitimate. They may ask for your phone number so they can send you a verification code. But don’t be fooled, there’s more to it than meets the eye!

You see, these scammers are actually trying to set up a Google voice number using your information. When you respond with the code, they can complete the setup of their own account using your name. It’s a sneaky way for them to create new accounts and potentially do some shady business.

Whether you’re buying or selling, remember that it’s never necessary to give out personal information like your phone number. It’s always better to be cautious and protect your privacy.

7. Beware of Overpaying Scams on Facebook Marketplace

I have a story for you. It’s about a sneaky buyer who uses a stolen credit card to trick a seller. They pay more money than they should, and then ask for a refund. But here’s the tricky part – the victim returns the extra money, but the bank denies the original payment. So, the seller is left with nothing, but still has to pay the money back. It’s not fair, is it?

But don’t worry, there’s a simple solution to this problem. Just say no to any extra payments. It’s best to stick to the original amount.

Now, let’s move on to another scam. This one is for all you apartment hunters on Facebook. Some people post fake rentals with pictures that don’t match the actual place. Others try to trick you by changing the rental price after you show interest. And then there are those who charge illegal fees for things like background checks. It’s a lot to watch out for, right?

The key to avoiding this scam is to always go see the property in person. Don’t trust everything you see online. Take a tour and make sure it’s the real deal.

Lastly, let’s talk about fake giveaways. These scams promise you something for free, but it’s all a trick. They might ask for personal information or even money in return. Don’t fall for it!

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay cautious and don’t give away your personal information or money to anyone you don’t trust. Trust your instincts and stay safe!

Watch out for giveaways of fake cryptocurrencies on a scammer’s profile. They set a trap by posting these fake giveaways, and when victims click on the links, they end up downloading malware that allows hackers to access their bank accounts and personal information. Be cautious of any links from sellers that seem too good to be true.

Here’s another thing to be wary of: inconsistent pricing. Some sellers on Facebook messenger will change the price of an item after you’ve already started communicating with them. This is a sign that you may be dealing with a fake website. So be careful if you come across sellers who keep changing the price.

Losing a package can be frustrating, but it’s also a potential scam. To avoid falling victim to this, always track your packages. Sellers can use the tracking number to dispute claims of non-delivery, so having that information is important for both buyers and sellers. It will give you a clear record of when the delivery should happen.

Lastly, beware of broken and bootleg items. These are often low-quality or counterfeit products posing as the real deal. It’s important to be cautious when purchasing items online, especially if they seem too cheap or too good to be true. Don’t let yourself fall for these scams.

I’ve got an important message for you, so listen up. If you’re planning to buy something online, be careful! Let me tell you why. Sometimes, you might think you’re getting a super fancy Gucci bag, but guess what? It could turn out to be a fake! Yikes! That’s why you need to take some precautions.

First things first, when meeting the seller in person, make sure you choose a well-lit spot. That way, you can properly inspect the item and make sure it’s not broken or damaged. Gotta keep an eye out for any surprises!

But wait, there’s more. Keep your guard up when you see really low prices from any seller. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, stay alert!

13. Watch out for strange payment requests

Now, let’s talk about paying for your online purchases. It’s important to use safe and secure methods. My top recommendations are Facebook Checkout and PayPal. They’re both reliable choices. Just remember, when using PayPal, don’t select the friends and family payment option. Stick to the regular one, okay?

But here’s the deal, stay away from other payment methods like wire transfers. They can be risky. And this is super crucial: never ever pay for anything in advance. That’s a big no-no! Protect yourself and keep your money safe until you’re sure about the purchase.

14. Don’t pay upfront

Beware of crooks trying to trick you into paying upfront. They’ll say it’s to prove you’re serious, but don’t fall for it. If anyone asks for money before you receive the product, be cautious. It’s best to meet sellers in public places where you can inspect the item firsthand.

If You’ve Been Scammed on Facebook Marketplace

If you’ve fallen victim to a scam, contact your local law enforcement right away. After that, visit the website and follow the steps and on-screen instructions to make a claim. Keep in mind that there are purchase protection policies that can help you in these situations.

  • Open the drop-down menu and select Settings.
  • Choose Facebook Pay and then Payment History.
  • Find the order that you need to make a claim on and click on it.
  • Fill out the form on the website and wait for a response via email.

If you’ve had a bad experience with a seller or buyer who scammed you, it’s important to report them. Reporting seller issues helps to impact their user ratings, which can help protect other buyers. You can check your own ratings as a buyer on your Commerce profile.

Is it safe to give your number on Facebook Marketplace?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Whether you’re buying something or selling, there’s no need to share personal information, especially with strangers. It’s best to be cautious, just like you would be on other sites like Craigslist or eBay.

How can you tell if a Facebook Marketplace buyer is trustworthy?

A legitimate buyer won’t ask you for extra money. If they’re requesting an additional fee, it’s a warning sign. Take a look at their profile to ensure it looks legitimate. High-quality photos are a good indicator that the buyer is reputable.

Will Facebook give you a refund if you’re scammed?

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve been scammed on Facebook, the first thing you should do is contact the seller. Give them a chance to resolve the issue. If they can’t help, don’t worry. You can still get your money back, but you’ll need to provide proof that you returned the item.

How secure is Facebook Checkout?

Rest assured, Facebook takes the security of your personal information very seriously. Your payment details are encrypted and kept safe. And unless you decide to share them, your activities on Facebook are private. But there are certain requirements you need to meet before you can use Facebook Checkout for your online purchases.

Is it possible to get scammed on Facebook Marketplace?

Yes, there is a chance that you might encounter a scam on Facebook Marketplace. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you stay safe. By following these tips, you can avoid falling victim to counterfeit money, shipping scams, and other payment issues.

I’ve explained a lot about the things you should be aware of and what you should do if you become a target. First, make sure you’re on the correct page. Go through the relevant menu and click on the marketplace icon to find the details.

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