Facebook Marketplace Scams: Everything You Need to Know

Avoid getting scammed at Facebook Marketplace while keeping your business in check!

Facebook Marketplace is an amazing platform to buy and sell goods online. Since the application is truly a social media giant, chances are Facebook Marketplace will have plenty of listings wherever you live. But like everything else, there are major disadvantages to the platform, such as Facebook Marketplace scams. In order to stay safe from these hazards, it’s crucial to know what kind of ill fated people are out there, how they operate, how to prevent them, and what to do if you become a victim. Keep reading to find out more.

How Facebook Marketplace Scams Work?

To understand how Facebook Marketplace scams work, we need to dive into a deeper perspective. There are lots of different types of these frauds going on. The con artists send a message letting you know they’re interested in buying your item. Now they may message you a phone number and ask to converse through texting. Then their real game begins. The scammer would appear hesitant to proceed because they’ve heard about fake online listings. They would want to verify if you’re a real person and send a six-digit Google Voice verification code. The only problem is that by sending back that code, you would be helping the scammer set up a Google Voice number linked to your phone number.

The scammer can use that number to rip off other people and conceal their identity. Sometimes these fraudsters are after a Google Voice verification code and personal information. If they can get enough details of what is needed, it could spell bad news for marketers and business owners. The tricksters can pretend to be you to access accounts or open new ones in your name.

How to Spot Facebook Scams?

Beware of buyers and sellers who are insisting on receiving payments outside of Facebook’s official channels. It’s a big red flag when a scammer often wants to get your money in a way that is irretrievable,” like through a wire transfer or Venmo payment. This ensures their pocket to stay full. Make it a habit to only pay through official systems. It will protect you if something goes wrong. Watch out for these common Venmo scams and CashApp scams.

Another advice would be to use Facebook Marketplace’s filters to narrow down your search to the items available for local pickup. Meet the seller in a public, and visible location so you can examine the product before purchasing. Anyone asking to meet in a shady location is a big hint on their credibility. Furthermore, If you are receiving an item through mail, always request a shipping tracking number and pay through PayPal or Facebook Checkout to protect the investment. Facebook Marketplace scams are sneakier than you might think. 

Types of Facebook Marketplace Scams

Defective Items

In many instances, sellers can advertise a product that looks fine from the photograph they posted. But when the product is delivered to your home, it turns out to be broken. It’s particularly risky when buying electronic items, because customers cannot toggle through every bit of functionality before handing over the money. This is more likely to happen due to an unscrupulous seller as a professional fraudster.

Counterfeit Items

Fake products are also a headache for many consumers shopping online nowadays. This is the reality, if a product is not broken, then it may be a fake product. Designer clothes, perfume, jewellery and cosmetics are common targets for counterfeiting. Similar to defective item scams, these are difficult to ascertain whether genuine or not just from pictures. Everyone’s looking for a bargain nowadays. But when offers seem too good to be true, they usually are.

Google Voice Scams

Facebook Marketplace is home to different types of fraud, potentially on platforms. For instance, the scammer agrees to buy an item. After taking the conversation onto a non-monitored platform like WhatsApp, they ask the seller to authenticate themselves. Usually, it’s done through a verification code. Unknown to the seller, the code is sent to the seller’s phone, it is a two-factor authentication code sent by Google Voice and initiated by the fraudster. Using that information, they can create an account through the phone number, which can be used in other scams. With more information still they could attempt to open other accounts in your name or access existing ones.

How to Avoid Facebook Scams

A Strong Setup Security  

Most people are under the impression that their accounts are secure. The same individuals leave photographs and check-ins open. These become a heaven for scammers to use against you. Lock everything down and test the setup. The key here is to only open the functions that are required. 

Be Overly Skeptical

Do not do anything you would refrain from doing the physical world. Apply these rules to the digital world. If you met someone on the street who said they lived in your neighborhood 20 years ago and suddenly asks for your Social Security Number to give out some money, of course you’d be suspicious. Use the scrutiny and judgement, and more so, in your online transactions. Never assume anything is true until verified. If it sounds too good to be true, 99% of the time, it is not true.  Be cautious.

We hope this article helped you understand why it’s important to understand how Facebook Marketplace scams work. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries regarding the impact of security and protection of your online shopping experience or a business setup.

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