How to not fall for scams on Facebook Marketplace
Do you already do business on Facebook and use the platform frequently, but are afraid of falling for scams on Facebook Marketplace?
This web tool has already surpassed more than one billion users around the world. And, as it is an accessible environment to do business, the Marketplace has opened up the possibilities for many companies to boost their sales.
However, with the increase in sales possibilities, the number of scams also grew.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
This space is like a classifieds page, for buying and selling products, which is open for all users of the platform.
For those who are already used to using this type of marketplace service, it will not be complicated at all since, as we said above, there are no mysteries to it.
In addition, many people already used Facebook Groups to carry out commercial transactions, whether sales or exchanges.
And the processes are so simple that it’s really worthwhile to try your luck selling your products and services.
Advantages and disadvantages when selling on Facebook Marketplace
There are two main reasons that we would like to highlight as benefits of using this tool on the platform.
These two incredibly wonderful perks should help you consider using Facebook Marketplace to sell your products:
- Large number of users: Facebook is currently the largest social network in active users in the world. In other words, with the Facebook Marketplace, the possibility of promoting and boosting your reach makes it much more likely that your products and services will hit the public eye.
- Facebook Marketplace does not charge a commission for sales made on the platform!
Those who previously sold their products and services on the platform will also mention that another very interesting features for those who sell on Facebook is that, with Marketplace, there is no longer the need to enter, and advertise their products, in every relevant group they can find.
The seller can now enjoy simplified routines, publishing only in the platform. Of course, there is still the possibility of continuing to advertise separately in each group as well, but if you want practicality, this is an option.
Now, of course, everything has a positive and a negative side. One of the negative points, by the way, concerns this general fear of not falling for scams on Facebook and other networks, and that includes the Marketplace.
Other disadvantages to consider are: the lack of a payment method integrated into the platform and the huge amount of messages received with requests for discounts.
How to not fall for scams on Facebook Marketplace?
Small, medium-sized and informal entrepreneurs and people who want to sell used items have started to use this platform.
However, a recent survey by an information security company, ESET, confirmed that 17% of users surveyed had already been scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
So you don’t become part of these statistics, we’ve brought you a list of tips on how to not fall for scams on Facebook Marketplace.
Let’s get to them.
1. Fake items
Designer products, jewelry, perfumes, cosmetics with prices far below average can indicate a scam. Many times some defects and imperfections in the products can also be imperceptible in the images.
And then it becomes very complicated to ensure that the item being purchased is a real item.
In this case, it is better to buy from a trusted website or store, without risking it.
2. Defective items
Another common scam within the platform happens with items that we are unable to test before purchase.
Generally electronic products that have functions that are difficult to evaluate before purchase can present this type of defect, without you realizing it.
This situation happens with people who are selling their products, especially as they tend to want to maintain their good reputation on the platform.
Some customers may report that they “overpaid” for the product, expecting to be reimbursed and you, in order not to lower your reputation, end up returning the money.
Scammers can falsify deposit and transfer receipts and before you know it, you will end up losing your money.
Therefore, always keep proof of transactions and invoices in order, avoiding falling into this type of scam within Facebook Marketplace and other platforms as well.
Similar to the previous one, only this time hitting buyers, we have the non-delivery hit. Often when purchasing an expensive product, scammers ask for a down payment to pay the cost of shipping the item.
This, according to them, would act as insurance that the item was being shipped. However, the invoices used by them for proof of shipment are false and you will end up without the item and without the “down payment” money.
To prevent this from happening, never make payments on signals or insurance. Search carefully and, further down, see our list of what to do to avoid falling for scams on Facebook Marketplace.
5. Fake giveaways
Fake giveaways, or sending emails with alleged promotions and offers are also on the list of the popular scams on Facebook Marketplace.
Often, without realizing it, the victim clicks on the link and fills out a form, believing they are participating in a giveaway.
Thus, you end up giving personal data for free to scammers who, holders of the data, can even steal your identity.
Here, that old sayings are correct: it is indeed a scam if it sounds fishy!
Whenever you receive “too good to be true” messages, be suspicious!
6. Google Voice scams
Finally, one of the worst and most insidious scams on Facebook Marketplace, as it takes the victim’s mobile phone number.
Google Voice is a service that lets you use an account linked to a phone number to make calls or send messages using a web browser.
Scammers can use this service to get your phone number and steal or even create new Google accounts.
They contact sellers showing interest in the product, but ask that the conversation continue on another platform, such as WhatsApp, for example.
There, they ask the seller to share a code that they will send over the phone, supposedly to prove the legitimacy of the transaction.
However, this code is Google Voice two-factor authentication. With this number, scammers take control of your Google Voice profile and use your number to create new accounts. Thus, creating an almost endless cycle of scams, since that’s what your number will be used for. Be careful!
Therefore, when using Facebook Marketplace, chat only through the platform’s Messenger and never pass on your verification codes.
What to do to not fall for scams on Facebook Marketplace?
The most important thing is to understand that most of the items offered on the platform are authentic, but taking care doesn’t hurt anyone.
Therefore, some precautions can be taken to avoid being damage or having information stolen from you:
- Local sellers: when the seller is from a nearby location, arrange a meeting in a public place and preferably during the day. There, do all the tests you can on the product before finalizing the purchase;
- New profiles: a good tip is to keep an eye on the profiles that are selling the product. Be wary of newly created profiles;
- Very different prices: before buying a product, research the average market value of the product.
- Product Details: asking sellers technical questions about items is a good way to get information about the product and its current status.
- Data: never give your data to any type of promotion or giveaway that does not have an authorization number.
- Values: never anticipate or refund values without double checking the information.
- Payments: use payment methods that allow reimbursement or retention of amounts until the item is delivered. PayPal, PicPay and other means on the market allow you to dispute the payment and are an excellent guarantee.
- Platform: as we said above, avoid scams by keeping transactions within the Facebook Marketplace. The conversation history can assist you in the process of reporting criminal profiles.
Finally, if you have been a victim of fraud, report the seller on Facebook Marketplace by going to Help Center > Using Facebook > Marketplace.
Ready to never again fall for scams on Facebook Marketplace?
Learning about this sort of stuff is not only useful, but also essential. In an increasingly interconnected world, we will all eventually make online purchases, or at least be tempted to do so. Send this article to a friend to make sure they too don’t fall for it!
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