Scams have been a part of our lives for ages and with every era, the scams are just getting creative. The online transaction was introduced to escape frauds and tricksters yet here we are learning how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams.
Although online shopping has made our lives easier, it has not only prevented us from going out in scorching heat or blistering cold to buy one pair of jeans but has also opened the avenue for more variety and options.
Now if you don’t like what you see at a shop you can just go online and buy a superior version for a much better price and payment options. But legends were true, where it is good, it is evil. Online shopping has its fair share of scams and fraud that have hurt many people and destroyed many homes.
Leave aside the big banking frauds that drain people out of their savings, small places like Facebook Marketplace aren’t free from these scamsters who lure people into their trap and run away with their money. If you are an online shopper then you must learn how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams for your safety.
Here are some ways by which you can spot the imposter: Seller’s Profile, Check Price, Payment Method, Conversation Method, No Meetings, Upfront Payment, Overpaying and Shipping Before Paying.
How To Spot Facebook Marketplace Scams?
If you love online shopping then you should give Facebook Marketplace a chance but before buying or selling anything there learn how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams so that you are not duped out of your money.
1. Seller’s Profile
The first method to apply how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams is to scan the seller’s profile thoroughly. When you are browsing through the Marketplace and like a product before contacting the seller or making any other move towards purchasing the product, make sure to check the seller’s full profile.
Spotting things like no profile picture, no image banner, and no Marketplace listing means that the seller is shady and you should run.
2. Check the Price
If you see a $500 item being sold for $100 on the Marketplace then you know that reading the article on how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams was a good idea. Why would anyone sell a brand-new high-end item for a really low price? And that too without any discount offers. They will only do that if the item is counterfeit or you will not receive the item at all.
3. Payment Method
If the seller asks you to pay on any other platform except for the official Facebook Marketplace payment options, it naturally means that they are about to scam you.
Facebook Marketplace supports payment options like PayPal and Facebook Checkout and will never accept anything like Venmo, Cryptocurrency, CashApp, or any other online payment method. If anyone is trying to lure you into trying any of the other apps it means they are trying to evade Facebook’s watchful eyes because they know if you complain they will be caught easily.
4. Conversation Method
A very good tip for how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams is to always stick to the official conversation methods. Whenever you engage in a conversation with any buyer or seller keep the conversation going on the app itself, do not go for Telegram or Signal, if you are scammed you will not have any proof of your conversation and your scam.
5. No Meetings
If you are buying an item from someone on the Facebook Marketplace who lives in the same area as you then the best way to transact with them is to meet them in person and exchange the product and money.
In this way, they get cash upfront and you get to examine the product before buying it. It’s a win-win situation for both of you. But if someone refuses to participate in this win-win situation then you have full permission to doubt their intentions.
If you want to know how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams in this situation then just ask them to meet. If they refuse then cut the contact, and if they agree make sure to meet at a public space and not a dark alley.
6. Upfront Payment
Understand one thing about Facebook Marketplace, it’s not like Amazon where you pay upfront for your item and it gets delivered to your door. It is like eBay which connects you with sellers directly, and giving a payment upfront without receiving the item will be a bad decision.
Avoid engaging with those sellers who ask for payment upfront, they might be tricksters who will run away with your money. If the item can only be bought via upfront payment then make sure to do it with the official Facebook payment methods so that you can report them tomorrow and Facebook can help you.
This one here is the reason why I started writing this how-to-spot Facebook Marketplace scams article, it is a very carefully planned scam that has gotten many people. But this one comes from the buyer instead of the seller.
What a buyer does is they will send you a large amount of money using a fake cheque or stolen credit/debit card which is more than the listed price of the item. Then they will act like they sent you more by mistake and ask you to send the extra money back. Once you refund the money and since the card is reported stolen the payment in your account will be reversed and you are left broke.
8. Shipping Before Paying
This is the opposite of point number 6, here the buyer asks the seller to send the item before paying for it so that they can check it and will return it if they don’t like it. Then they are nowhere to be found.
9. Fake Giveaways
Many sellers have been found to post fake giveaway links where they promise to give away cryptocurrency, electronics and other expensive items. The idea is to make unsuspecting buyers click on the links and download malware on their computers. In this way, they can get access to their personal information like passwords, credit/debit cards and bank account details.
10. Insurance Fee
Scammers know that getting a full amount from customers might be difficult for them so they use other tricks to take their money. If the full amount isn’t an option they will ask for additional payments.
Scammers are known for duping customers into paying them a little more by asking them to pay insurance fees or shipping fees for the items they want. They even go as far as showing them fake receipts. Once they send them the money, the scammer disappears along with the money.
How Does Facebook Help Against These Scams?
Now let’s learn about how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams and how Facebook can help you if you get scammed on their Marketplace. Here is a list of scenarios that it covers.
- In case the package is not received.
- If the received package is damaged or doesn’t match the description.
- If the Facebook refund policy isn’t followed.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to buy and sell products but scams like seller’s fake Profile, unmatching prices, different payment methods, different conversation Methods, no meetings, upfront payment, overpaying and shipping before paying have tainted its reputation.
Now we can spot these scammers at the first glance but what we can do is learn how to spot Facebook Marketplace scams and then tread carefully whenever we are trading there.
Frequently Asked Questions-
Q1. How to report Facebook Marketplace scams on Facebook?
Ans. You can go to the product listing page on the Marketplace, tap on the seller’s profile picture and tap on the report option in the menu.
Q2. What are the main scams seen on Facebook Marketplace?
Ans. There are three types of scams seen on the Facebook Marketplace, the buyer scam, the seller scam and the listing scam.