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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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