How to spot Facebook Marketplace scams | Daily News Byte

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Facebook Marketplace has millions of stores and 1 billion active users. It has become the go-to place for buyers to buy and sell everything, including smartphones, accessories, jewelry, games, and used cars. With the growing popularity among users, Facebook Marketplace scams are on the rise. By using the tips below, you can avoid an amazing deal on a high-end Chromebook and other devices and save yourself from a Facebook Marketplace scam.

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Facebook Marketplace is available for anyone to buy, sell, or sell goods. Since Facebook doesn’t verify customers, scammers can advertise as someone else and trick customers into buying fake or defective items. Unlike Amazon, Facebook Marketplace bridges the gap between buyers and sellers and connects them through Messenger. It confuses the customer and exposes them to a scammer.

Facebook Marketplace scams are pretty obvious. But once you pick up a few red flags, it’s easy to connect the dots and spot the scammers on the platform. Here’s how to save time and money by spotting Facebook Marketplace scams.


Check out the customer’s history

Let’s start with the basic menu. Before sending a message to a customer, check the customer information page. If you don’t see a picture, banner, or previous Marketplace listings, the seller is a fraud and is trying to scam you on the platform.

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Buy low at a high price

The seller promised a new high-end Android phone for $200? Or maybe you saw an AirPods Max for $100, which normally sells for $549? You shouldn’t fall for listings with a low rating for high quality items. The best Black Friday deals on Amazon won’t get you high prices on popular items. You may or may not receive a fake product.

You should be careful with such products. Some sellers may put a low price tag to see what you think and then try to sell something more expensive or similar at a higher price. The trick is known as bait and switch.

Customers ask you to pay on another platform

You must use a trusted payment method such as PayPal or Facebook Checkout to complete the purchase. These methods are protected by customer protection, and you will receive a payment if a product is not available. If a customer insists on receiving payments through Venmo, CashApp, or crypto, that’s a red flag. Some vendors promise to pay for using another platform for payments. Don’t fall into these traps.

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Buyers and sellers ask to use another platform for communications

Buyers and sellers must connect to Facebook Marketplace for communication. If the customer asks you to move to an email app like Telegram or Signal, refuse and avoid the scammer.

Customers refuse to meet in person

Contacting the seller allows you to review the product before paying. If the seller lives in that area or city and refuses to meet with you to view the item, avoid those listings on the Marketplace.

Even if you meet with the client in person, make sure to schedule the meeting in a public place during daylight hours. We recommend bringing a friend or an expert to look at the product.

Sellers ask for a small payment up front

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Sometimes the seller asks you to pay a small amount up front to hold the product. A person can ask customers to do the same for the right product. If you rent a home or car, brokers may ask you to pay a deposit up front to secure the sale. We recommend avoiding those sellers, but if you choose to go ahead, use the Facebook Pay payment method.

Facebook Marketplace has become a favorite place to advertise rental properties. Avoid sellers who ask for unnecessary fees such as background check fees or paperwork fees. If possible, visit the property or have it confirmed by someone you know in the area. The Market is full of fake sellers posting other people’s rentals.

The customer increases the customer

In some cases, consumers are scammed by thieves and criminals selling on Facebook Marketplace. Here’s how the modus operandi works. When you list a product on Facebook Marketplace, the seller expresses interest and sends an amount above the asking price.

The scammer uses fake checks, stolen credit cards, or counterfeit money to send money. The seller admits the error and asks you to send the remaining amount as payment. When a stolen credit card or loan is reported to the authorities, the charge is reversed to your account, leaving you with nothing.

Customers ask you to send the product before payment

As a seller, you should avoid sellers who ask you to send the product before payment. Those scammers can convince you that they need to check the product and its working condition before sending the payment. Then they disappear after receiving the package at the departure point.

What should you do if you get scammed on Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook has seen an increase in scams in the Marketplace. The company has established a Customer Service policy to help you get paid. It includes the following features:

  • You didn’t get the item.
  • The product is damaged or different from the description.
  • The customer did not follow Facebook’s refund policy.

You can show customers on Facebook:

  1. Head to the product listing page on Facebook Marketplace.
  2. Hover over the customer’s profile picture.
  3. Choose Report from the floating menu.
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  4. Choose a reason for showing the customer.
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Facebook is asking you to report scams. It’s not stupid. An independent report revealed that thousands of Marketplace listings violated Facebook’s rules and did not protect users from scammers.

Save your time and money on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook isn’t the only one dealing with scammers. Amazon is an online retailer associated with fraudsters who publish fake reviews to sell below-average products. Check out our dedicated post to spot fake reviews on Amazon.

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