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Facebook Marketplace has become a popular choice to buy & sell items. However, there are many users who have been scammed on this platform.
What to do when a scam takes place? How can you recover your money and protect your data? We have answered all these questions in this article.
First of all, you can contact your local police if it has happened only recently. After informing the authorities, you can contact Facebook and raise the issue about Facebook Marketplace scammers.
Facebook has created a “Purchase Protected Policy” to save the ones buying/selling on their platform. Purchase policies give security in on-site purchases.
According to Facebook, to qualify for purchase protection policy:
If you can’t seem to solve an issue with the seller, you can submit a claim through Facebook. They review your claim thoroughly.
They process it and check whether it is eligible for Purchase Protection” or not. Facebook then refunds the full price of the purchased item and delivery costs.
Facebook Purchase Protection is valid in the following situations:
The most effective way to stay away from Facebook Marketplace scams is to stick with secure payment methods. Do not interact with suspicious offers, you’ll be safe!
Scams can happen on both buyers and seller’s sides.
Knowledge about common Facebook Marketplace scams is very important because then you can take necessary precautions against them!
Below are some common Facebook Marketplace scams:
Scammers set up a fake listing that connects to the sites that steal your data. The malicious data sometimes looks authentic but it isn’t what it seems!
If you show any interest in purchasing items, the seller takes full opportunity and may ask for details that can be sensitive and very personal. Details can include phone number, postal address, bank account number, etc.
Since now they have all your personal information,scammers may ask for up-front payment and disappear from the scene.
Please remember,giving all of your sensitive information to someone puts your privacy and safety at risk. Therefore avoid sharing too much personal information with people on the Facebook Marketplace.
Payment scam is the most common type of scam that can happen on Facebook Marketplace.
As the name itself suggests, this scam is related to payments. Scammers might often resort to fraudulent payment methods and chances are they might even show a fake payment proof.
Scammers can also claim that they’ve overpaid so that they can request a refund. They may send you $100 and ask for a $200 return.
Fraudsters tell buyers to use payment methods to purchase an item. Items don’t exist in reality and neither does the e-store.
Therefore, after scammers take your personal information, they eventually cancel the conversation; leaving the buyer without any payment for the product they listed.
Please just use the Facebook Marketplace’s in-built system to make payments. This way, you are protecting yourself from a lot of potential payment related scams.
This scam includes listing damaged items. Their images may look authentic but not everything on the internet is as it seems!
If you don’t take a close look at the seller’s profile, you can get scammed pretty easily.
When you send the scammer payment and the item arrives, then you get to know that the item is either broken or damaged and is not as it was advertised!
These types of scammers don’t usually stick with one account on social media because their accounts get banned by Facebook if any suspicious activity is caught in their marketplace or if anyone has reported legally against the scammers.
In this type of scam, the scammers post photos of apartments, houses, etc. that they don’t own and try to sell them to you.
Uploading pictures of aesthetic looking houses with cheap prices can be potentially suspicious. It can be scammers setting a trap for you to buy.
They get you to sign documents, ask to send a “down payment” and never really give you any property ownership. Basically, they will try to make this process look as authentic as they can.
You will only get to know it’s a scam when you somehow realize the property was of someone else.In many cases this happens when the user might have already made the payment.
Always be careful before trusting anyone online. Ask for the necessary documents, read all the terms, never fall into ‘too good to be true’ deals when it comes to real estate.
The phishing scam is a type of fraud specifically designed to target your personal information.
A skilled scammer may send a link where you’ll have to submit personal information. They capture information and get you to download malware files.
In this type of common scam, fraudsters capture your personal information, including bank information, security codes, etc. Phishing scams are the most popular scams on Facebook Marketplace.
Any redirected links can also be sent towards you which can then lead to information stealing website.
Scammers pay good attention to the emotions of sellers. Quick action rather than taking a look into details is something scammers make you do. Therefore, to be up to date about such scammers is essential.
If you have received any giveaways from links, any gift cards, suddenly won any expensive prices, etc. then it’s fake.
These links are designed to gather your personal information and gain access to your devices.
Scammers may get to you to install any malware. Do not re-direct to any link outside the Facebook Marketplace.
To avoid getting trapped in fake giveaways, install an antivirus like Avast or McAfee.
Facebook marketplace is full of fake giveaways. Scammers’ sole purpose is to steal your data.
Some scammers ask to fill out an entire form, requiring you to fill in confidential things.
The scammers who offer giveaways have most probably set up a new account, may have grammar mistakes in their form and they ask for personal information upfront.
Mostly, suspicious seller profiles do not have any profile picture, no real background mentioned, etc.
Facebook is battling these types of scammers every day. They also provide verified badges, which are the most secure for battling fraud on this platform.
Some buyers use hacked Facebook accounts to sell items that don’t even exist in the first place.
They do this because using someone’s account looks more authentic and scammers don’t have to create an account from scratch.
Always check the buyers before buying any goods. If their account is new with no profile picture, then they’re probably scammers trying to be unsuspecting buyers.
If the picture and some background information exist, look for photos and descriptions of the products they’ve listed.
If the buyer has used stock images, low rates, and few details about products, then the chances are either the product is damaged or doesn’t even exist.
Do not become a victim of identity theft by avoiding small details in checking sellers’ profiles.
Sometimes scammers perform very odd payment requests. They may send you a link to their fake portal of the bank.
That’s where they have designed a UI in a way you can choose a bank account through dropdown.
OTPs are taken in process and then they take away all of your money, leaving you with no credit on your card.
Avoid payment links sent by scammers that let you redirect to their payment methods’ site.
Don’t even click on links in Facebook messenger chats that look suspicious and take you outside the Facebook Marketplace.
Always meet sellers in public, lit-area. Do not meet them at your home or a place that’s quiet and dark.
Never go alone, and try to carry someone with you when you decide to meet a seller, even in public areas.
Plus, payment through cash is a bit risky, especially if it’s a lot. That’s why, considering secure payment methods like PayPal is the more appropriate choice.
Sometimes, scammers roaming around Facebook Marketplace are not after the money you have, they’re most of the time after your data!
Information like email, phone number, and postal address shall not be shared on the marketplace. Be very cautious from your end.
Nearly anything can be sold online. But selling to the right buyer and through the right approach and payment system can be a very important factor.
Below are some scams that are targeted specifically toward sellers on this platform.
Some buyers use stolen credit cards to purchase items. They use payment methods through different apps like Cash App, Venmo, etc.
These scammers avoid any legal channel for payment while pretending to be a potential buyer.
In this way, payment is reversed which means you get no money, and the item is sold as well.
This potential scam can also happen to those who meet the buyer facet-face. The reason is that buyers can insist on sending money through third-party apps and later on the money never comes to your account.
Therefore, Facebook insists on receiving cash through approved platforms like PayPal and Facebook Checkout.
This scam is the most recent in Facebook Marketplace. The government officials of each country do warn the public to not respond to “verification code” (to prove if you’re human) potentially sent by scammers on the web.
In this type of scam, the buyer asks for some type of code, to prove you’re not a robot or scammer.
What they try to attack is your Google account very carefully without you even noticing that you are sharing it.
So, beware of such scams, and do not provide any code to anyone on the web. The company itself warns its customers to not respond to suspicious OTP or verification tests.
What scammers do here is they claim that they haven’t received any goods that they ordered from you.
Therefore, it is recommended not to use prepaid shipping labels on Facebook Marketplace as it has high risk.
This scam is done so cleverly that it can’t be tracked. This is because the buyer agrees to shipping, selects the shipping method but then changes the tracking label and shipping address when the shipment is under process.
Facebook itself tells us to avoid communication with buyers outside the Facebook Marketplace. Keep in mind that in case you get scammed but keep conversation on Facebook Messenger, you’ll have higher chances of getting your money returned and the scammers can be permanently banned from the marketplace.
Always keep track of conversations in the Facebook app and at any point, if you feel fishy, report buyer!
Moreover, the buyers can tell you to contact their relatives or friends outside Facebook. They can then redirect you to their fake website.
Never feel pressured when making a deal in the marketplace. Always stay alert and don’t allow any scammers to take advantage of scamming you by swiftly making a deal.
Take your time, do some research, and then act. You’ll then notice that those marketplace users are always in a bit hurry.
Fake Facebook user account is easy to detect if you are a bit used to Facebook or regularly use it.
You’ll know exactly what Fake profiles look like. Scammers often create multiple accounts.
They may have the same name on different accounts, might not have a profile picture, and have no real history with past clients.
You’ll notice their account is mostly brand new with very less friends associated with them.
As a seller, notice when you post any product, suspicious profiles may message you. As soon as you recognize the fake buyer, you’ll see their profile automatically vanish.
This is because Facebook regularly checks for such accounts that look suspicious and removes them from their platform.
Scammers offer deals that look perfect and eye-appealing. Scammers then do their part and try to fraud you. Therefore, always be cautious before making any deal.
Facebook does include direct sales which opens more windows for scammers, but you can reduce the risks of getting scammed if you take into consideration all the above things I’ve discussed in this blog post!
First, try contacting the seller. If you get no response, request Facebook for a refund. For that, you’ll need to give proof of conversations in Facebook Messenger, links, and even screenshots of your and even screenshots of emails you received from scammers.
If Facebook accepts your appeal, the scammer will be banned and you can get your money back.
To submit a complaint against the scammer on Facebook:
Click on the Marketplace icon
Find the scammer in the list
Select their name
Click on “report”
Follow the on-screen instructions
You might be asked to provide pieces of evidence (like chat screenshots and emails) if required.
Bank transfer isn’t safe in Facebook Marketplace. Facebook itself recommends only using verified channels like PayPal.
If you have done a bank transfer, your money is most probably gone. In the case of normal payment through your card, payment can be reversed but scammers are very clever. They demand payments in ways that can’t be reversed (i.e. gift cards)
Therefore, you won’t be able to recover your money and the bank won’t help either in this case. Keep things clear from your side first to minimize any fraudulent activity.