How To Know if You Are a Victim of a Marketplace Scam
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to hunt for bargains on anything you can imagine, or get rid of some of that stuff you don’t use that’s been sitting around taking up space.
There are plenty of legitimate offers on Facebook Marketplace, but there are also scammers taking advantage of the platform by selling fake items or running other scams. Keep reading for tons of tips on how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams from a mile away.
Is Facebook Marketplace safe?
As long as you’re careful, Facebook Marketplace is completely safe to buy and sell secondhand, or even sometimes brand new, items. However, it’s important to know what to look for to protect yourself from fraudulent buyers and sellers, because you can get scammed on Facebook Marketplace. To learn more about the types of scams check out the most common Facebook Marketplace scams
7 Red Flags to Watch Out for to Not Get Scammed on Facebook Marketplace
1. Low prices offered for expensive, in-demand items
When a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. For example, if the latest video game console is out of stock everywhere, but you see it listed on Facebook for less than the retail price, it’s probably a scam.
2. The seller asks to meet at your house
There’s no reason a seller would need to meet you at your house instead of somewhere public, unless they’re up to no good. Always make Facebook Marketplace transactions in public places with other people around.
3. The seller’s profile looks surprisingly fake
If the seller has a fake looking picture and no normal activity on their profile, it’s likely a false account that they opened just to scam people. If you have any doubts about a profile, trust your gut.
4. The seller asks for an unusual payment method
Legitimate sellers have no reason to ask for payments in gift cards, cryptocurrency, or any other unconventional form of payment. You should always pay using cash or instant transfers.
5. You are not allowed to see the item before purchasing
It’s completely normal to want to see an item before you hand over the money, so if the seller refuses to let you inspect it, they’re probably hiding something. Only buy items that you can verify the authenticity and quality of.
6. The seller directs you to another website to communicate
Some fraudsters hack real peoples’ Facebook accounts to communicate with their targets, so they want to avoid using messenger in order to not raise suspicion. Only negotiate purchases via Facebook Messenger to ensure accountability.
7. The seller has been noted for fraud elsewhere online
Before you commit to buying an item, Google the seller’s name and email address to see if they have been called out for another scam on Facebook Marketplace or anywhere else online. If anything comes up, you know not to trust that seller!
For Sellers: How To Know if Your Buyer Is a Scammer?
1. They send you a code to verify your identity
Some Facebook Marketplace scammers use this trick to set up a fraudulent Google Voice account, which they can use to scam other people. There’s no reason you would need to verify any code to make a sale on Facebook Marketplace.
2. The buyer wants to communicate on another platform
Scam buyers are often eager to communicate via other means where there is less traceability and accountability. Keep all your Marketplace negotiations with buyers on the Facebook Messenger platform.
3. They refuse to meet you in a public place
If a buyer doesn’t want to meet you publicly, it might be because they don’t want any witnesses or cameras around. Always make Facebook Marketplace transactions in public places. If you’re uncomfortable, you can even ask buyers to meet you near a police station for extra security.
What Happens if You Get Scammed on Facebook Marketplace?
Report the scam
To report a scam on Facebook Marketplace, just click on the buyer’s or seller’s name, click on the 3 dots that come up, and click on “Report Buyer” or “Report Seller.” Next, follow the on-screen instructions to file the report with Facebook.
Facebook Purchase Protection
Facebook Purchase Protection is automatically offered on certain types of products, so if you get scammed, you might be eligible for a refund. Items that are covered by the policy have a badge that says “Covered by Purchase Protection” on them. Keep in mind that Facebook Purchase Protection is not available in all areas.
How Payback can help you
Payback LTD is one of the world’s leading scam funds recovery specialists. We specialize in getting your money back if you’ve fallen victim to one of the many online scams out there, including Facebook Marketplace scams.
If you think you’ve been scammed, contact Payback immediately. Our compassionate team of fund recovery experts will look at your case, review the evidence, and do everything they can to get your money back.