Being scammed out of your hard-earned cash is a learning experience none of us want. Unfortunately, Facebook marketplace scammers have several techniques to trick you into giving away something incriminating. Is Facebook marketplace safe? It can be, but you have to follow the right rules.
There are quite a few methods a Facebook scammer can use to steal your money or credentials. Modern cybercriminals will often resort to social engineering to trick unwitting consumers into falling for scams. By relying on a victim’s craving for the cheapest deal, a scammer can fool someone into a false sense of security.
Here are some of the most common Facebook marketplace scams you might come across.
Bootleg items/broken items. A seller will offer branded items or the latest tech at bargain prices. More often than not, if tech is selling at far below the market price, it’s probably broken. Similarly with branded goods, if a $500 dollar handbag is selling for $50, it’s either bootleg or stolen.
Mail scams. A buyer will try and talk you into sending the item first, perhaps for testing or compatibility purposes. Once the item is sent and received, the buyer mysteriously vanishes without sending the money or returning the item. Alternatively, Facebook marketplace shipping scams are when a seller will request shipping payment, then never send the item.
Payment scams. A buyer will overpay for an item and want a refund of the overpayment back. Sounds simple enough, but this scam involves the buyer specifically using checks. With a check, the buyer attempts to trick the seller by sending bogus payment. The unwitting seller would send the overpayment refund and only realize too late that the check received would bounce. For other items, a seller might request advance payments or a deposit to secure the goods. Unless you’ve handled the item in person yourself, it’s best to ignore such requests.
Facebook marketplace car scams are quite common types of payment scams, too. A seller will request a down payment or deposit on a car then provide a fake address of pickup once the money has been sent.
So your money is gone and the item isn’t turning up — you’ve definitely been scammed. The first step is to report the seller to Facebook. Facebook marketplace are constantly taking down fake listings and fraudulent sellers, unfortunately some still make it through the filter. Report the seller and hope the admins take care of business quickly.
The Facebook protection service will help if you’ve tried contacting the seller and reached a dead end. Facebook will directly refund the purchase if it can be proved that:
If the merchant is nearby and has been known to cheat others out of their money, it might be worth reporting them to the local authorities, too.
The next step is making sure you don’t fall victim to a scammer again. First, you need to know how to spot them.
Luckily, the signs of a Facebook scammer are easy to recognize once you know what to look for. Keep in mind, however, that social engineering is a large part of what makes marketplace scams successful. Cybercriminals are looking for new ways to hook your attention and sway your sense of judgment. Always be on your lookout for deals that just seem too good to be true — they usually are.
Spotting a Facebook scammer isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
So now that you can spot an internet scam, it’s time to implement what you know to guarantee never being the victim. Here’s what you need to do to avoid Facebook marketplace fraud and robbery.
Facebook marketplace is about as safe as any other buying and selling site on the internet. It all relies on the user’s own knowledge and experience. If you pay attention to all the signs, you probably won’t get snagged in any scammer’s trap.
However, it can’t hurt to cloak yourself in an extra layer of protection. That’s where NordVPN comes in. Not only will your online activity be hidden by next-level encryption, but you’ll also have access to CyberSec.
Threat Protection has a blacklist of known malware-ridden websites. As soon as your browser is about to access the site, Threat Protection will kick in and prevent you from entering. It can also protect you by blockings ads and online trackers.
Facebook, being the social media giant that it is, has its fair share of cybercriminals to deal with. The threats users face online don’t only stem from the marketplace.