New research shows that Facebook Marketplace is being used by criminals to pose as buyers and sellers and try to take money from users.
According to research, nearly 25% of Britons using Facebook Marketplace reported seeing scams.
FacebookMarketplace, like its name implies is a platform for selling items that lets users use social media networks to purchase and sell them.
Thinkmoney, personal finance experts, stated that nearly a quarter (one out of six) were scammed by Facebook Marketplace.
The most popular frauds It involved being approached by a fake persona and paying for items that never arrived.
Facebook Marketplace fraudsters employ a variety of techniques to seize money from users, including creating fake profiles and linking to steal bank details.
Thinkmoney has compiled a list with tips and tricks to ensure safety when using Facebook Marketplace.
Are you a victim of fraud on Facebook Marketplace Comment below to let us know if you have been a victim of fraud on Facebook Marketplace.
1) Always verify the date when your Facebook profile was created
Before you sell, or even buy anything, on Facebook Marketplace, take a look at the person’s profile.
Many sellers discover that buyers will accept the items, but then disappear without payment. This is also true for buyers who purchase items and then never receive them.
Check the date that the account was opened. Take care when opening new accounts.
2) Never pay in advance when purchasing an item
Avoid paying in advance for any item until you actually receive it.
If buying locally, you should always try to exchange money and the item simultaneously. This is safer if you do it in public and have a friend or family member to help.
You should get proof of posting and a tracking code if the person is sending the item.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee that the item will arrive as described, so try to get photo evidence of the item being sent. It is best to be cautious when purchasing second-hand goods.
3) Always use reputable payment methods
Do not be afraid to buy or sell items on Marketplace.
PayPal is a secure payment system that buyers can use. They will investigate any claims you make on your behalf. They also offer security to sellers.
But that’s if you pay through the right method.
Don’t pay for the ‘friends and family’ method if dealing with a stranger, as this comes with no protection. Use the ‘goods and services’ option instead.
Never agree to any payment methods that you don’t want to use. It’s your money, so ensure you are comfortable and protect your funds.
4) Track all mail items you receive
If you are required to receive the item by mail, make sure you have a tracking number. This will allow you to track the shipment and ensure that the item has been delivered.
5) Use Facebook to communicate
Be wary of sellers who insist on speaking outside Facebook. Don’t give out your personal information to strangers. This could lead to you receiving payments in a way that makes it impossible for you to claim your money.
6) Be careful if the listing price goes up
If you’re looking to buy an item but then the price becomes higher once you are interested, walk away.
Ask yourself why the price is rising.
This tactic is used by many sellers to lure you in, and then to try to make more.
7) Report any seller harassing or asking for money to be blocked
If you are interested in something on Facebook Marketplace but have not communicated with the seller yet, they may be harassing you for money. Block them and report.
Report a seller by clicking the item you are interested in, and then clicking their name. Click on the three dots to the right of their profile and click on Choose ‘Report’.
Then, you should block them from contacting you.
Jonny Sabinsky (head of communications at Thinkmoney) said: “It comes as no surprise that more people than ever are being scammed through social media platforms, specifically Facebook.
“When it comes to spotting a scammer, here are a few red flags to look out for: a fake profile, a seller harassing you for payment or a seller requesting a ‘friends and family’ payment. It’s important that you are always aware of who you are speaking to and their intentions when it comes to you and your money.”
Facebook was approached for comment.