As we are scrolling Facebook, many of us mainly pay attention to the things our friends share, such as memes, updates about their day, relationship updates, and even the major life changes that people are going to. However, sometimes our scrolling starts to wander off and we end up on the Facebook Marketplace where people are selling knickknacks and used furniture galore. Many of us go on it if we are looking to move so that we can save money by purchasing used furniture. However, scammers know this and are looking to take advantage of Facebook users by scamming them with faulty used products, missing purchased items, and stealing their money. Here are some Facebook Marketplace scams to watch out for.
Types of Facebook Marketplace Scams
Low-Quality Item Scam
You find something on Facebook that you really like and talk to the scammer about purchasing it. They agree to meet up with you to sell the product, and it comes in a box. You pay the scammer and they leave before you have a chance to open it, only to find either a cheap version or a broken version of the actual product you wanted.
Paying with Payment Apps, Gift Cards, and Wire Transfers Scam
A scammer tells you to download a payment app, such as PayPal, CashApp, or Venmo and asks you to pay for the item that way. There are even times where they send you a phishing link and ask for you to pay for an item on a fake website. They ask you to purchase the item before you even receive it, and so you transfer the money to their app. However, they block you off of Facebook once they receive your money and you end up not getting your product.
The same goes for if the scammer wanted you to pay for an item with a gift card or a wire transfer. All of these ways are untraceable so they know if you file a claim, you most likely won’t be getting your money back from them.
Missing Item Scam
A scammer sells an item on Facebook Marketplace, and you agree to purchase it. They come up with an excuse for you to send the money in advance, with the excuse usually being that it’s easier for them to mail you your product. You wait and wait for the product, but it never comes because it was a fake product, to begin with. You try to reach out to the seller, but they have blocked you off of everything, including through email so that you can’t get your money back.
Attempted Burglary Scam
A scammer wants to meet with you in a private place to discuss purchasing a product and convinces you to go alone. You show up and the scammer demands you give them all your money. Scared, you comply with what they say and they take off.
Pay for Your Item Before You Get It Scam
The scammer convinces you to purchase your item before actually getting it due to some excuse they come up with. They also ask for your personal information so that they can contact you once the item is ready, which leads to identity theft. You comply with what they said, and they block you knowing they have your money. They don’t meet up with you or mail you your product in return because there was no product, to begin with.
Catfish Profile Scam
A scammer pretends to be someone they aren’t using someone else’s pictures. This way, no one will know their true identity when they decide to steal money and information from innocent victims, committing identity fraud.
How to Avoid Facebook Marketplace Scams
- Don’t purchase a product without receiving it first.
- Make sure to examine the product and make sure its how you like it before agreeing to purchase it
- Only pay for the product using trusted methods of payment, such as direct cash or secure mobile payment app AFTER examining the product.
- Only meet up with the seller to purchase the product if you have a buddy with you and you’re meeting in a public place.
- Only agree to purchase the item if you can pick it up in person, don’t agree to have anything mailed to you.
- Report any scam sales through Facebook Marketplace or another reporting site.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Facebook Marketplace Scams!
At Social Catfish, we identify those who are suspected of scamming our users. If you feel like you were put in a situation where you’ve been scammed and have a tiny-bit of their information, we can help you with our reverse search toolbar. All we need is their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to see who it is you’ve really been in contact with when discussing Facebook Marketplace purchases.