Never buy anything from Facebook without looking at the genius’scamlist’ first

It’s one of the most used places on the internet to sell stuff, with over a billion people logging in each month.

While Facebook Marketplace is rapidly growing, scammers are also using it to con people into giving their hard-earned money.

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Facebook Marketplace is one the most popular sites to sell stuff online.Credit to Facebook

These sophisticated techniques can result in people losing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.

One in six online fraud victims was revealed by a poll.

Budgeting experts thinkmoney1000 Brits were surveyed to find out the most popular tactics.

They involve approaching victims and asking them to pay in advance for items that do not arrive.

Thinkmoney, a UK-based bank services provider, has compiled nine tips to help you spot Facebook Marketplace frauds.

These steps can help you protect your cash if you ever are unsure about a deal.

1. Always verify the date when your Facebook profile was created

Before you sell, or even buy anything, on Facebook Marketplace, take a look at the person’s profile.

Make sure to check the date that the account was created. Facebook was launched in Britain in 2005. Therefore, most accounts will be older than a few decades.

You should be cautious if the account that contacted you was created in the last few weeks or months. This could indicate that it has been set up to scam innocent people.

**How to check when an account was created on Facebook Marketplace **

  • Click on the item you are most interested in.
  • Scroll down ‘Seller information’
  • This information should tell the user their Facebook username and the year they joined Facebook.

2. Never pay in advance for an article

It is best to not pay for an item in advance before you have received it.

This tactic is common and could result in you paying for an item that won’t arrive.

Try to exchange the money as well as the item if you are buying locally.

You should ensure that the event is held in public and bring someone you know.

You should get proof of posting and a tracking code if the person is sending the item.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee that the item will arrive as described, so try to get photo evidence of the item being sent.

It is best to be prudent when purchasing second-hand items.

3. Always use reputable payment methods

You want to make sure you aren’t getting short-changed when buying or selling items on Marketplace.

PayPal, which will investigate all claims on your behalf, can make buying safer.

They also offer sellers security. But that’s if you pay through the right method.

Do not pay through the ‘friends and family’This method is not recommended for strangers. Use the ‘goods and services’ option instead.

Never agree to any payment methods that you don’t want to use. It’s your money, so ensure you are comfortable and protect your funds.

4. PayPal offers refund options.

PayPal allows you to choose which country you want to purchase an item. “goods and services”Oder “friends and family”.

The latter is essentially a transaction for people you know which means they don’t have to pay a fee to receive payment.

However, scammers are well aware of this fact and could force you to use it. This option also leaves you with no buyer protection.

This method is more difficult to get your money back.

However, you should use the “goods and services”Method will take care of you PayPal Buyer’s Protection.

Therefore, you can opt for a refund if the item doesn’t arrive or match what was described.

You must do the following:

  • Within 180 days of purchasing the product, dispute the transaction. Click here to login to PayPal. ‘Dispute Transaction’(which can also be found below ‘Report a Problem’).
  • Select the dispute transaction, then click Continue
  • Select ‘Item dispute’. The seller and you have 20 days for a solution. If that doesn’t work, you can escalate the claim within 20 days of opening the dispute.

5. Track items sent via mail.

If you are required to receive the item by mail, make sure you have a tracking number. You can track your item and make sure it has arrived.

6. Only use Facebook to communicate

Be wary of sellers who insist on speaking outside Facebook. Never give your personal number out to anyone.

You might end up sending money through unreliable methods and you may not be able to get your money back.

Keep in touch with them through Facebook, and quit attempting to make you speak on other channels.

7. Be cautious if the listing price changes

If you’re looking to buy an item but then the price becomes higher once you are interested, thinkmoney recommends walking away or, at least, questioning why the price has changed now that you have shown interest.

This could be a trick to seduce you and try to make more money. Always ask questions and leave if you aren’t sure or confident about the product you’re buying.

8. Report any seller who harasses you for money and block them

If you are interested in something on Facebook Marketplace but have not communicated with the seller yet, you can block and report them.

Report a seller by clicking the item you are interested in, and then clicking on their Name.

Once you have viewed their profile, click on the three dots to the right and select “Report”. Block them to stop them from contacting you.

9. With rental listings, it is best to be cautious

Facebook Marketplace is more than a place to purchase items. You can also find listings to rent properties.

Thinkmoney recommends that you treat a Marketplace property as if it were a rental property.

Always go to view the property, confirm its availability and don’t pay for anything (including deposits in advance) until you have signed proper paperwork.

You could end up paying a deposit and be left out because they could use fake listings or photos. “secure”You get a home that was not available when you first bought it.

What can you do if your identity has been stolen?

  • Report the scammer immediately Click on the name of your seller, the three dots at the profile and choose the “Report” option. Follow the instructions.
  • You can block the seller. This will prevent any communication from the seller, especially if they are harassing you to pay.
  • If you’ve used PayPal’s payment methods, you can contact Buyer Protection to get your money back. This will guide you through the process of resolving a dispute.

Jonny Sabinsky, Thinkmoney’s Director of Marketing, said that “It is not surprising that more people are being scammed via social media platforms, particularly Facebook.”

“It’s important that you are always aware of who you are speaking to and their intentions when it comes to you and your money.”

Facebook Marketplace has more than one billion monthly active users

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Facebook Marketplace boasts more than one million monthly active usersCredit: AFP
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