According to a survey, one in six people have been scammed using Facebook Marketplace.
According to personal finance experts, the most common downsides are falling into fake profiles and paying for goods that never arrived. think about the money.
Facebook Marketplace is a sales platform that allows users of the social media platform to buy and sell items, usually to local people.
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But scammers are increasingly using the site to target people posing as local sellers or buyers.
One in six people surveyed by Thinkmoney admitted to being scammed on Marketplace and scammers use several techniques to separate them from their money, including fake profiles, dubious links that steal bank details and more.
In response to this, Thinkmoney has compiled a list of tips for staying safe when using Facebook Marketplace.
1) Treat new Facebook profiles with caution
Take a look at a person’s profile before you buy anything from them or sell them anything.
Newly created accounts can reveal that your customer or seller may not be all they say they are.
Many sellers find that new buyers have accepted items but disappeared without paying and the same is true for those who purchased items but never received them.
2) Do not part with your money until you receive your item
Always try to exchange the money and the item at the same time (if buying locally), in public, and with a friend or family member if possible.
If someone sends the item be sure to get proof of postage and a tracking number, although this does not guarantee the item will arrive as described so try to get photographic proof of the item. item sent.
3) Think about how you pay
PayPal can be safe for buyers as they will investigate any complaints on your behalf. They also provide security for sellers.
But don’t be tempted to avoid the fee by paying through the “friends and family” method if you’re dealing with a stranger, as that doesn’t come with any protection. Use the “goods and services” option instead.
And be very careful if your seller wants you to use this method.
4) Insist on Tracking Mailed Items
If you need to receive an item in the mail, insist on a shipping method that allows you to track postage.
This way you can make sure they mailed the item to you, although as above this only proves that an item was sent, not necessarily the item you paid for.
5) If the listing price changes, be careful
If you’re looking to buy an item but the price goes up once you’re interested, walk away or at the very least question it.
Many sellers use this tactic to lure you in and then try to get more money.
6) Block and report any seller who harasses you for money
If you showed interest in something on Facebook Marketplace and contacted the seller, but they’re harassing you now, block it and report it.
You can report a seller by clicking on the item you are interested in and then clicking on their name.
Once on their profile, click on the three dots on the page and choose “Report”.
You must then block them so that they can no longer contact you.
Jonny Sabinsky, Head of Communications at Thinkmoney, said: “It’s no surprise that more people than ever are being scammed via social media platforms, especially Facebook.
“When it comes to spotting a scammer, here are some red flags to watch out for: a fake profile, a seller harassing you for payment, or a seller asking for a ‘friends and family’ payment. It’s important that you are always aware of who you are talking to and their intentions regarding you and your money.
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