Facebook is where people connect, and in recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other. This activity started in Facebook Groups and then Meta introduced Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Anyone with an active Facebook account can list or buy items with no hidden fees, however there has been a recent increase in people getting scammed when shopping for things like cars, tickets and clothes on Facebook Marketplace.
Fraudsters pretend to be genuine sellers
Social media and online marketplaces often fail to stop fraudsters from offering items for sale. Fraudsters may seem like other sellers, appearing friendly and giving away personal details to make you believe they’re genuine. All they want is for you to send money to their bank account. Fraudsters won’t let you pay by card or another way that protects your money.
Here are some things to look out for:
|Is it too good to be true?
|It’s not a bargain if it never turns up.
|Do you have to pay right away?
|A genuine seller won’t pressure you into a quick sale.
|Can you meet the seller in person?
|Look for things nearby so you can check the item before you pay.
|Will they let you pay by card?
|Never pay by bank transfer. Pay by debit or credit card to protect your money.
The most common items fraudsters sell
Popular items like designer clothes and trainers are favourites for fraudsters to sell.
Can you pay by card? Is the item available elsewhere at the same price? If not, it could be dodgy.
The DVLA website lets you check a vehicle for free.
Before buying a vehicle, inspect it and have a test drive. The vehicle may be genuine but the advert could be fake.
Fraudsters often promise to deliver a vehicle or a vehicle part if you pay upfront.
Computers, game consoles and smart phones may be cheap for a reason.
Be suspicious if you can only pay by bank transfer.
Avoid a holiday or rental nightmare.
Genuine companies are protected by ABTA or ATOL.
Be suspicious if someone wants you to pay outside a booking site.
Use your card to protect your money.
Tickets for sold out or popular shows and events may tempt you.
Always pay by card or a payment service that offers buyer protection.
And only buy from ticket companies or sites registered with The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR).