Each month, over a billion users, purchase and sell things on Facebook Marketplace—but they aren’t the only ones benefiting. Scams on Facebook Marketplace are on the rise: According to the Federal Trade Commission’s most recent study, 9 out of 10 online retail fraud victims believe they were scammed using Facebook or Instagram marketplace”.
Rather than eBay or Amazon, Facebook Marketplace buyers have a much more direct engagement and interaction with vendors,” says Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at cybersecurity firm Comparitech. “This allows scammers to mislead victims into a variety of schemes with less control. “Getting scammed out of your hard-earned money is an unpleasant learning experience. Sadly, Facebook Marketplace scammers use a variety of methods to trick you into handing up money or things.
Common Facebook Marketplace Scams:
The fraud on Facebook may appear convincing, but they always have particular warning signs that make them easy to identify. Experts highlight the most common Facebook Marketplace scams and how to prevent them, so you can keep your money safe while shopping. Here, Some of them you should come across.
1. Using Facebook To Pay Or Communicate Outside Of Facebook
When you express interest in an item, the seller offers to shift the conversation to another platform right away. If something goes wrong, the customer will have no proof. Therefore, make sure that every aspect of your transaction takes place on the Facebook platform. Some scammers may request that you transfer the money for the transaction through another platform.
Do not become hooked, and always pay for an item via Facebook Checkout or PayPal. Bischoff says. “In addition to outside payment methods, they might convince victims to call or chat outside of Facebook, where their correspondence can’t be monitored. “In the event of fraud, you can contact customer service to get your money back. You may also report untrustworthy merchants to Facebook.
2. Selling Fake Products
Don’t be scammed by a low price on luxury bags or a rare gaming system. Facebook Marketplace is a center for fake or stolen items at suspiciously low prices. “If a vendor is asking significantly less than the average asking price for an item, they’re probably up to something,” Hauk says checking up the average price of an item and comparing it to the price displayed on Facebook Marketplace.
“Always remember the old saying: if everything looks too good to be true, it generally is,” he advises. You should also request many images and perhaps a video of the item before making a purchase, and do a reverse image search to see whether a picture is genuine.
3. Paying The Vendor Too Much
Sellers, believe it or not, can also be scammed by fraudsters. In one popular scam, a buyer may use a stolen credit card to pay the vendor more than the desired amount for the item, then claim an error and want a partial refund. The victim will repay the overage amount, but the initial payment is refused and never reaches the seller’s account, leaving the victim to pay the bill while the criminal keeps the money.
If you get an overcharge, deny it and request that the buyer send you the proper amount. Anybody who reacts suspiciously to the request may be a con artist. Make sure you know how to recognize these additional typical internet frauds in the future.
4. Requesting Advance Payments
Getting advance payments on Facebook Marketplace is a typical scam in which a fraudster requests advance payment for an item that they never plan to provide. The following is how the scam works: The fraudster will advertise an item for sale on Facebook Marketplace at a low price. When a customer exhibits interest, the fraudster will request upfront payment, stating that it is necessary to hold the item or cover shipping charges. The fraudster may even demand additional money, saying that they are necessary for taxes, insurance, or customs duties.
However, The fraudster vanishes once the payment is received, and the buyer never receives the goods. The fraudster may have even erased their Facebook account or banned the buyer, making tracking impossible. Getting advance payments on Facebook Marketplace is a typical scam in which a fraudster requests advance payment for an item that they never plan to provide. The following is how the scam works: To prevent being a victim of this fraud, be vigilant while purchasing things on Facebook Marketplace.
These Are Some Precautions You Can Take
Before making any payment, always see the vendor in person and check the goods. If the seller demands upfront money, it’s most certainly a fraud. Never give money to a vendor through wire transfer, cash app, or any other non-reversible digital payment method. Choose a secure payment platform with a dispute resolution mechanism, such as PayPal or Stripe.
Be aware of merchants that demand additional fees or insist on payment in advance for whatever reason. Examine the seller’s Facebook Marketplace profile and reviews to check that they are a real vendor with a solid reputation. Believe in your intuition. If anything appears to be too good to be true, or if you are unsure about a transaction, it is preferable to walk away.
5. Creating Fictitious Accounts
Examine the seller’s profile before purchasing on Facebook Marketplace. Some criminals create false Facebook profiles to dupe consumers into purchasing bogus or nonexistent things, then leave with the money. You can recognize the fake seller the date the Facebook account was founded is an important factor to consider.
According to Burton Kelso, a tech specialist at Integral, an onsite computer service, brand-new accounts should be a warning signal. “In this day and age, most people will have a Facebook account from at least ten years ago,” he explains. “Buyer beware if you find a Facebook account that was created within the last few months.”
6. Listing Fake Renting
Not all rental listings on Facebook Marketplace are legitimate. Some fraudsters may promote bogus rental properties (which they do not own or have permission to post) and urge interested parties to contribute deposits or background check fees in advance. You should only rent from reputable brokers or vendors. If feasible, visit the property in person or have it inspected by someone you know in the neighborhood.
7. Selling Non-Working Things
According to Kelso, one of the most common Facebook Marketplace scams is selling an item that does not operate. “This is especially true when acquiring laptops or other technological gadgets,” he explains. The vendor is aware that the item is broken but hopes that you would not inspect it before paying.
When purchasing products such as electronics, Kelso suggests turning them on and testing them to ensure they operate correctly before paying. “Don’t let yourself be coerced to make a deal,” Hauk adds. “Walk away from the agreement if the seller—or buyer, for that matter—pushes you to make a quick choice.”
8. Advertising Phony Giveaways
Another popular scam is advertising fraudulent gifts on Facebook Marketplace, which includes a fraudster promoting a giveaway on Facebook Marketplace to draw people to their profile or page The fraudster will make a giveaway advertising on Facebook Marketplace, offering something important such as a vehicle, a laptop, or an iPhone. To enter the prize, they will encourage users to like and share the post, and they may even ask for personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers.
To Prevent Being A Victim Of This Fraud
The fraudster vanishes after individuals like and share the message, and the promised award is never given. In certain situations, the scammer may even utilize the personal information gathered to attempt to defraud individuals out of money or to commit identity theft. To prevent being a victim of this fraud, be vigilant when participating in online sweepstakes. You can do some safe steps to protect yourself to Investigate the person or company giving the freebie to ensure its validity.
If something appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is. Be cautious of gifts that need personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, or credit card numbers. This sort of information should not be required for legitimate giveaways. Check for warning signs such as bad spelling and language or graphics that appear to be bogus. These are red flags that the giveaway is fake. Trust your intuition and use common sense. It’s wise to leave if anything doesn’t seem right.
9. Inconsistent Pricing
If a vendor increases the price of an item after you message them, Paxton advises walking away. That might be an indication of a bait-and-switch scheme. In this case, a fraudster entices buyers with a low price but then attempts to offer them a different, more costly item.
To recognize it “Back out as soon as they exhibit evidence of unreliability,” Paxton says. “The drama isn’t worth it.” According to Facebook Marketplace’s standards, sellers should decline requests “to make extra payments for shipping or other previously unlisted expenses after the transaction is complete.”
10. Insurance-Fee Schemes
When sending products by mail, scammers will ask buyers to pay for shipment insurance in addition to the item and delivery fees. According to Terry, the fraudster would sometimes deliver a bogus invoice as proof. But, after the money is paid, the fraudster vanishes.
Genuine Facebook Marketplace vendors will not ask for any additional money beyond the cost of the item and any possible delivery expenses. If you are asked to submit money for unexpected costs, immediately cancel the transaction.
How To Avoid Getting Scammed On Facebook Marketplace?
Scammers on Facebook Marketplace are wanting more than just your money. In many situations, they will attempt to dupe you into disclosing personal information that they can use to steal your identity, get into your online bank account, or take over your Facebook page. Use the following precautions to protect yourself against Facebook Marketplace scammers:
Don’t Fall For Bargains That Seem Too Good To Be True.
Scammers aim to get past your natural barriers by providing tempting incentives. Keep in mind the golden rule of fraud prevention: If a bargain appears to be too good to be true, it is most likely a hoax.
Examine Your Credit Report And Bank Statements Regularly.
Fraudsters are nearly always interested in your financial information. Look for indicators of identity theft, such as unusual charges on your bank statement or accounts you don’t recognize. Aura, an identity theft protection service, can monitor your credit and statements for you and notify you if there are any symptoms of fraud.
Consider Getting Identity Theft Protection.
All of your most sensitive personal information, internet accounts, and funds are monitored for indicators of fraud by Aura’s top-rated identity theft protection. If an Instagram scammer attempts to access your accounts or funds, Aura can assist you in taking appropriate action before it’s too late. For quick protection, while you’re most susceptible, try Aura’s 14-day free trial.
What Does Facebook Do To Prevent Scams?
To prevent fraud on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook has implemented many safeguards for both customers and sellers. To begin, purchasers may post feedback for sellers utilizing a five-star rating system based on their experience throughout the transaction. The seller’s commerce profile will include their rating from other purchasers, as well as badges such as “Super Seller,” “Very Responsive,” and others.
Certain Marketplace transactions are also protected by Facebook’s Buy Protection policy. If a buyer does not get their purchase or the goods are damaged, they may be eligible for a refund. Keep in mind, though, that “the Purchase Protection plan is quite particular on what is covered and how the item should be paid for,” according to Furtick.
To qualify for the Purchase Protection policy, you must use Facebook Checkout for your transaction. Finally, Facebook offers an online guide for buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace safely and responsibly. It covers many of the best practices that buyers and sellers should consider to protect themselves online, including meeting in person, watching out for counterfeit products, and using secure payment methods
What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Scammed And How To Report Scammers?
If you suspect a scam on Facebook Messenger, avoid interacting with the buyer or seller and report the issue to Facebook. If you come across a Facebook listing that you suspect is a scam. Open it and then click the three-dot menu to the right of the Share button.
Choose Report Listing from the dropdown menu. You may also report a potential buyer to Facebook if you have a listing and they look to be a fraudster. Access your listing and choose the interaction with the probable fraudster from the list of Messages. Click the three-dot menu, then Report Buyer. Select Scam, and then follow the instructions to report fraud.
Fake payment receipts are one of the most common Facebook Marketplace frauds. To try to scam the vendor, the buyer gives phony or outdated successful payment information. You should only mail the item after receiving the money to your bank account, and you should never take this type of evidence. Whether you use Facebook Checkout or your online payments account. You will be alerted as soon as the payment is made.
Make a video of the item and use a reverse image search to check the image is authentic. Scammers may sometimes attempt to trick victims into paying too much. Then claim a mistake and request a partial refund, which the victim will return before discovering the first payment was denied. And never reached the seller’s account. To avoid this, refuse any overcharges and request that the buyer send the correct amount.
Another classic scam involves a fraudster requesting advance money for an item that they will never give. To avoid this, see the vendor in person before making any payment, and never send money. Scammers may also construct bogus Facebook profiles to dupe consumers into purchasing non-existent things. To avoid this, look at the seller’s Facebook page. And be aware of new accounts formed in the recent few months. Lastly, be wary of rental postings on Facebook Marketplace, as some may be fraudulent. To avoid this, always go to the property before signing any lease or paying any money.
What Are Some Common Facebook Marketplace Scams And How Can They Be Prevented?
Some common Facebook Marketplace scams include phishing scams, fake item listings, and payment scams. To prevent these scams, it’s important to verify the identity of the seller and the item. Never pay outside of the Marketplace platform, and carefully review the item description and photos. Also, be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true. Avoid sharing personal information, and report any suspicious activity to Facebook.
How Can I Protect Myself From Facebook Marketplace Scams?
To avoid Facebook Marketplace scams, be vigilant and apply common sense. Always pay using Facebook Checkout or a secure payment platform and never accept payment outside of the Facebook platform. Be skeptical of bargains that appear to be too good to be true. And conduct thorough research before making a purchase.
Examine the average price of the item you’re interested in and compare it to the seller’s pricing, and request numerous images or videos of the item before purchasing. Lastly, follow your instincts, and don’t be scared to walk away from a purchase if anything doesn’t feel right.