Every digital platform has some sort of scam going on because it is impossible to close every loophole. Because of these scams, companies are advancing their technology with tighter security.
Facebook is now a place where you can buy and sell goods. The digital platform is quite handy, and it is a social media giant with the largest user base. But with such a user base, it has the most frequent scams of all time, i.e., the Facebook Marketplace scam.
The Facebook Marketplace scam can be avoided by users if they are knowledgeable enough about the scams. In this article, we will explain the Facebook marketplace scam, its types, how to prevent it, and what to do if you are scammed.
What is a Facebook Marketplace scam?
On the Facebook Marketplace, scams can happen with both buyers and sellers. The con artist tricks the user into paying for something they don’t even want to buy. After the purchase is made, you either will get the false order or you won’t receive any order.
The con artist plunders sellers in a flash. By posing as a real buyer, they deceive the seller, but instead of making a purchase, they defraud the seller. They try to extract the seller’s details and try to wipe out their bank account or resell the product without paying a penny to the seller. Scams on the Facebook Marketplace come in a variety of forms that you can avoid.
Types of Facebook Marketplace scams
Mailed Item Scams
Mailed-item scams are the most common; people get easily fooled by the scammer, they pay in advance, and they never receive any product. If you purchase a product from a seller who stays miles away from you, they can fool you easily. So it is highly recommended that you buy from someone who lives in your city or near your location, at least so you can reach out to the seller easily. Inspect the product and collect it straight away.
If you want to buy something, try to buy it from a well-known place. They are easily reachable, and you can track your order easily. If you want to order it from the Facebook marketplace, you can use the Facebook chat box to protect your purchase.
QR code scams
QR code scams are one of the most widely practiced modern scams. People tend to act like genuine buyers. but the seller ends up emptying his wallet. They pull this scam by sending a small amount to check and verify whether the account details are correct.
With such a gesture, people tend to believe in the legitimacy of the buyer. They trust the scammer, and the con artist, at the end, sends the QR code, and when you scan the code, the particular amount will be deducted from your account.
At Facebook Marketplace, you can’t trust anyone until you inspect the product, are satisfied, and want to buy it. Most broken products are sold on the Facebook marketplace. You may find the product in miserable condition, but the display picture was of a brand new product. Even in some cases, you will get different products, which is not valuable at all. You can even expect a rock in your package.
You can say counterfeit items have their own market; people get scammed so frequently that they do not even realize that they purchased a fake product at the real purchase price. Scammers easily make copies of the products; the exact look-alike earns fortunes for the con artist, while others go for a decent price and make good money for scammers.
People generally believe they are purchasing a real product and getting a real deal but end up buying a fake one. Shoes, clothes, jewelry, sports jerseys, and cosmetics are the most common products to be sold as counterfeit items.
Overpaying is another scam in which the seller is robbed. The fraudster will strike a deal and be prepared to pay. The con artist will share a screenshot proving that, although he paid you the specified sum, he “by mistake” overpaid it. The seller has not received a single cent despite the screenshot being obviously morphed or edited. The con artist will make an effort to persuade the merchant and demand a refund for the overpayment. As the seller sends the extra amount, the scammer walks away with the profits, and the seller will obviously lose the amount by not making any deal.
How you can stay safe online
To prevent Facebook Marketplace scams, you have to be vigilant. You can’t put your money in the hands of a stranger and blindly trust them. Let’s look at the tips that can protect you from Facebook Marketplace scams.
Using Facebook Messenger is highly recommended; even Facebook advises people to communicate via Facebook Messenger. If there is any dispute between the buyer and seller, the chats will be the evidence. Even when you are defrauded, chats can be used as evidence when you file the complaint.
Sharing your phone number can result in another scam; using Facebook Messenger is a safer option. Making a deal over the phone will be problematic because both parties will likely disagree about what was agreed upon.
Checking the seller’s profile will help you identify if the seller is genuine or not. If the seller is genuine, his profile will have some reviews and a certain number of friends. Generally, the people are looted from the scammer who created the Facebook account recently and has no or a few friends. It takes more than 5 reviews to get published on the Facebook Marketplace. Verifying the seller’s profile is highly advised; blindly believing the seller could cost you.
If you trust the seller and believe the seller is genuine, you can pay via Paypal or Facebook Pay if offered. The basic need for these payment applications is that at least you will have the receipt as proof of payment. If the seller defrauds you, you can track down the seller with the help of the information available on the receipt and file a report.
The seller will try to convince you to buy a gift card because there is some bank server issue or something. Never fall for such traps; if you send a gift card, you can’t report or file a complaint.
Since QR scams are used to defraud sellers, let’s examine the fundamental application of QR codes in the world of payments. By scanning the QR code, you can make a payment. You will never receive any payment by scanning a QR code.
Counterfeit items are one of the frauds that happen on a daily basis on a large scale. It is better to purchase a product at a low price on the Facebook Marketplace. If you are a victim of getting a counterfeit item, you will lose a small portion, or it could be a good deal. Never go for expensive items; there are rare instances where you can get a genuine product at a low price. It’s better to avoid such honey traps and purchase your desired product from a genuine website.
What if you get scammed?
If you are scammed on the Facebook Marketplace, immediately report the buyer and get in contact with your bank to block your account. By blocking your bank account, the bank will immediately freeze your funds, and the scammer will have no access to your money.
You can even press charges against the con artist. These scams are punishable offenses, and the police will take action against the con artists if you file a complaint and make a case against them.
Winding up the article, I hope you find the article helpful. If you come across any such scams, don’t waste a second; immediately report it to the law enforcement firm and inform your bank about the scam. Try to follow the steps to stay safe from the scams, and the best you can do is purchase goods from a genuine e-commerce website.