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Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Marketplace Scams

AARP: “…It’s difficult to gauge the extent of the risk. Meta, Facebook’s parent company, hasn’t disclosed how many complaints it’s received about scammers or how many it’s taken action against, though from July to September 2023 alone, the website removed 827 million fake Facebook accounts, according to a Meta spokesperson. However, the BBB’s Scam Tracker database contains a long list of reports from Facebook Marketplace shoppers who claim to have been victims of scams through the platform. They include a buyer who paid $270 for a camera that never arrived and another who paid $1,500 for a golf cart, only to have the seller ask for an additional $1,000.   Still another user reported purchasing a farm tractor from a scammer impersonating a legitimate dealer in Idaho, complete with a website and a Facebook page that turned out to be fakes. After the buyer wired $19,750, the tractor never arrived, and the fake dealer stopped responding to emails and calls. Others reported that they had lost money on undelivered items, including a washer and dryer, an upright piano, an iPhone, an Acura MDX sport utility vehicle and even a puppy. BBB spokesperson Josh Planos says that Facebook Marketplace scammers often take advantage of holiday demand for whatever new toys and electronics are hot. “They will indicate that they have it, and display a photo that’s been lifted from another online site,” he says. Scammers will also try to get buyers to use payment methods that make them difficult to trace. One caller to the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline, for example, found what she thought was a good deal for concert tickets. At the seller’s request, she sent the $125 payment through a peer-to-peer payment app. After the payment went though, the seller simply blocked her, and never sent the tickets. In other instances, consumers told the Helpline, scammers asked them to pay for vehicles with multiple eBay gift cards instead of a check or credit card…”

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