Technological innovations and advancements help improve lives and enhance processes. Facebook Marketplace, for instance, offers great value for buyers and sellers alike. Such cloud-based platforms provide convenient and accessible items and services. These websites utilize purely digitalized methods and streamlined processes – from data collection to payment processing to item distribution.
Unfortunately, like most virtual tools, Facebook Marketplace is susceptible to certain cyber threats. There’s no denying it has various benefits and advantages, but scammers and hackers trigger Facebook Marketplace users to stop or avoid using the platform. Facebook Marketplace scams like fake items, bogus sellers, or false buyers compromise not only the platform’s security but the users’ safety as well. Familiarize yourself and watch out for these common scams to enjoy using Facebook Marketplace without any fears and doubts.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
The initial goal of Facebook Marketplace is to connect local sellers and buyers. It was initially designed to provide a platform for selling items, avoiding physical contacts and manual payments. To date, however, Facebook Marketplace also enables users across the globe to connect.
Like the Facebook social media app, Facebook Marketplace is accessible on all Android phones, iPhones, and other internet-enabled devices. It provides hassle-free selling and buying of items, using modern techniques and avoiding traditional methods – anyone can, indeed, easily utilize the platform.
As a Buyer
Head to the Marketplace by tapping the shop icon within the Facebook app/site. You can start shopping by browsing through photos, reading item descriptions, and reviewing seller ratings.
Feel free to utilize the search field if you’re specifically seeking something. Filter the results by location, category, or price. There’s a built-in location tool that lets you adjust the region or switch the city you’re looking in. Once the item is found, you can contact the seller directly, settle the payment, or save the item for later viewing.
As a Seller
Upload a photo of the item you wish to sell then add a complete description, including name, product details, and price. Confirm your location and the product category, then post it.
The Marketplace’s Your Items section allows tracking of all activities. This page helps avoid confusion as it records everything – from posts to sales to messages. Follow online etiquette and rules to avoid scams or for you to not be mistaken as a fake seller.
So the biggest question is, Is Facebook Marketplace a scam? We firmly believe it’s not; the platform itself adheres to legal requirements. It, however, is not exempted from online scammers, fake users, or payment hackers. This is why you must know what scam methods exist on Facebook Marketplace to better prepare and protect yourself.
THE MAIN TYPES OF SCAMS ON THE FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
Scams have gone digital and social media platforms like Facebook have become highly used for such. Facebook Marketplace, much like Craigslist, is a great place to look for almost any item you could need. Unfortunately, like similar sites, Facebook Marketplace sees many scam cases. Anyone could be a victim of scams on Facebook Marketplace and a scammer could either be the buyer or seller.
Avoid being a victim by learning these common Facebook Marketplace scams:
Fake Facebook Accounts
Using fake accounts is a scam in itself and scammers are utilizing fake seller or buyer accounts. Such accounts are used to trick people out of their money or items for sale. They could also be used in gathering sensitive and personal information like credit card details. Make it a habit to check the Facebook page of anyone you’re transacting with on Marketplace to avoid being a victim.
Be wary of sellers who create postings for non-existent products. They would usually grab photos of items from legitimate sellers or photos from the internet. As a precaution, ask for additional photos or videos of the product.
Unusual Payment Methods
Only opt for legitimate payment methods like Facebook Checkout or PayPal. You can also do cash payments, just make sure to do some background checking on the person you’re transacting with before meeting up in person. Also, choose to meet in a public place and/or bring someone with you. This scam does not only victimize the seller but the buyer as well. As much as possible, do not agree with a seller who wants you to send payment via non-secure means to avoid being scammed.
Before you send payment, make sure that you are paying for a real item or the right one. Much like non-existent items, some sellers create fake items – from brand copycats to products that are not exactly what the seller claims. Avoid being scammed out of your hard-earned money by checking thoroughly before buying. Don’t be blinded by a “too good to be true” deal.
WHERE TO REPORT FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE SCAMS
We would like to emphasize it is best to be cautious when going on Facebook Marketplace, whether as a seller or a buyer. We also acknowledge that with the number of scams on Facebook Marketplace, even the most careful person falls victim to scammers.
Anyone could end up sending payment for a fake item or even a non-existent item. There will always be fake sellers or sellers who take advantage of your circumstances and overcharge for an item. If you are unable to avoid Marketplace scams, the next step is to report the fraud to the proper authorities.
To report a seller, go to Marketplace and click the listing. Scroll down to click the seller’s name → Click Report → Select what you’re reporting them for → Follow the ensuing instructions.
To report a buyer, go to Your Account and click Your Listings. Choose the listing or item that the buyer purchased → Click the message exchanged with them → Click Report Buyer.
FBI’s Internet Crime Center (IC3)
The IC3 is an arm of the FBI that focuses on solving crimes committed online which includes scams on Facebook Marketplace. You can go to their website and submit a report.
You can always dial 911 for immediate help especially if you are in immediate danger or have caught the fraudster in the act.