10 common Facebook Marketplace scams, and how to avoid and report them

Facebook Marketplace is a great way to buy and sell goods and services, but it can also be a breeding ground for scammers. Here are 10 common Facebook Marketplace scams, and how to avoid and report them:

1. Overpayment scam: The scammer will agree to buy your item and then send you a check for more than the asking price. They will then ask you to refund them the difference, or to use the extra money to buy shipping labels or other items. Once you send the money back, the check will bounce and you will be out the money.

How to avoid it: Never accept a check for more than the asking price of your item. If someone offers to pay you with a check, ask them to mail it to you certified so that you can verify the funds before you ship the item.

2. Fake shipping scam: The scammer will agree to buy your item and then send you a fake shipping label. Once you ship the item, it will never be delivered and you will be out the item.

How to avoid it: Never ship an item using a shipping label provided by the buyer. Instead, ship the item yourself using a reputable shipping carrier.

3. Fake profile scam: The scammer will create a fake Facebook profile and use it to contact you about buying or selling an item. Once you have agreed to buy or sell the item, the scammer will disappear.

How to avoid it: Be wary of profiles with few friends or no photos. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a profile, ask them to provide you with their full name and contact information.

4. Fake item scam: The scammer will list an item for sale that is either counterfeit or does not exist. Once you have paid for the item, the scammer will disappear.

How to avoid it: Be wary of items that are priced significantly lower than similar items. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an item, ask the seller to provide you with additional photos or information.

5. Phishing scam: The scammer will send you a link to a fake website that resembles Facebook. Once you click on the link and enter your login information, the scammer will steal your account.

How to avoid it: Never click on links in emails or messages from unknown senders. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a link, hover your mouse over the link to see the actual URL.

6. Identity theft scam: The scammer will ask you for your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number. Once they have your personal information, they can use it to steal your identity.

How to avoid it: Never give your personal information to someone you don’t know and trust.

7. Shipping scam: The scammer will agree to buy your item and then ask you to ship it to a third-party address. Once you have shipped the item, the third-party will refuse to accept it and you will be out the item.

How to avoid it: Never ship an item to a third-party address. Instead, ship the item directly to the buyer.

8. Pet scam: The scammer will list a pet for sale that is either sick or injured. Once you have paid for the pet, the scammer will deliver a sick or injured pet to you, or they will disappear altogether.

How to avoid it: Be wary of pets that are priced significantly lower than similar pets. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a pet, ask the seller to provide you with additional photos or information.

9. Rental scam: The scammer will list a property for rent that is either not available or does not exist. Once you have paid a security deposit or rent, the scammer will disappear.

How to avoid it: Be wary of properties that are priced significantly lower than similar properties. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a property, ask the landlord to provide you with additional photos or information.

10. Job scam: The scammer will post a job listing that is either fake or does not exist. Once you have applied for the job, the scammer will ask you for money or personal information.

How to avoid it: Be wary of job listings that require you to pay money or provide personal information up front. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a job listing, research the company and the job position online.

How to report a scam:

If you have been scammed, you can report it to Facebook by going to the Marketplace Help Center and clicking on the “Report a Scam” button. You can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by going to the FTC’s website and clicking on the “Report a Scam” button.

By being aware of these common scams and taking steps to avoid them, you can protect yourself from being scammed on Facebook Marketplace.

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