For a number of reasons, Facebook Marketplace is more popular than these online classifieds websites. Given that the majority of individuals already have a Facebook account, it is free and easy to use. Additionally, it enables users to look for listings in their neighborhood, greatly simplifying pick-up.
Additionally, users feel more secure using the service because they can view the profiles of dealers. Unfortunately, this sense of security is frequently unfounded.
One in six (17%) responders to a recent global poll reported having experienced online fraud. Like any other online market, the Facebook classifieds section has a lot of legitimate business, but it is also a sanctuary for scammers. The stakes are enormous when phony listings include apartment sales and car purchases. Users are under enormous strain as a result to comprehend the methods that con artists frequently employ and what they can do to prevent falling victim to online scammers.
The top six frauds to avoid on Facebook Marketplace are listed below, along with tips on how to identify any warning signs:
Products with flaws
Sellers may promote a product that appears to be in good condition in the image they posted. However, when you get it, it turns out to be damaged.
This is particularly challenging when purchasing electronic devices because you typically can't check out every feature before making a purchase.
By mistake, you might purchase a fraudulent item. Counterfeiters frequently target designer apparel, perfume, jewelry, and cosmetics. It might be challenging to tell whether objects are real or not from a little photo, much like scams with damaged goods.
Although everyone is seeking for a deal, the adage "when the offer looks too good to be true, it generally is" is universally understood.
On Facebook Marketplace, scammers may also con sellers. One common scenario is scammers claiming to have overpaid for an item you're selling and sending a screenshot allegedly documenting the transaction.
They'll request a return of the difference. But since there was never an initial payment, you will lose money if you accede to their request.
Non-delivery after taking advance payment
Selling something, getting the money, and then never giving it to the customer is a common swindle. Typically, this only applies to goods that are shipped from beyond the buyer's locality.
Scammers might obtain personal information by bombarding users with giveaway offers on Facebook Marketplace.
The victim believes that simply clicking on a link and completing a brief form, they will automatically be entered to win free luxury goods, cryptocurrency, or other exclusive offers. Unfortunately, the con artists only need their personal data to carry out subsequent identity fraud or theft.
Scammers promote products that are frequently of great quality and have highly alluring price tags. When you wish to take advantage of the "discount," the item is suddenly "out of stock" or "sold out," and you will be presented with a comparable product at a much higher price or a subpar substitute.
What to look for in a Facebook Marketplace fraud
Users should always err on the side of scepticism and be on the lookout for any type of online scam. The following advice will help you use Facebook Marketplace safely:
- Only purchase products from nearby local vendors, and inspect them before making a purchase.
- Never meet at your house; always meet somewhere open, ideally during the day.
- Look at user reviews and ratings on buyer and seller profiles, and exercise caution if the profile was just recently made.
- Check the item's original price before purchasing it, and if there is a big gap between it and the sale price, beware that it might be a fake, a stolen item, malfunctioning, etc.
- Never provide your personal information to access giveaway offers.
- Use only secure payment options through Facebook Messenger (PayPal, Facebook Checkout), as they provide a mechanism for payment disputes. Fraudsters frequently ask for gift cards, EFTs, and services like eWallet and Instant Pay.
- Keep your discussion on Facebook; con artists want to take it to a different platform where it is simpler to defraud individuals and stop them from questioning transactions.
- Never ship anything before receiving payment and seeing the funds in your account. To ensure that the money has been received and cleared, check your account. As "proof of payment" emails might be generated fraudulently, avoid accepting them.
- Never provide prospective buyers with two-factor authorization codes. You must never, ever, ever disclose these kinds of codes.
How to identify if a Buyer/Seller is fake?
How to avoid getting scammed?
1. Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
3. You should never scan a QR code, share an OTP, or visit a link given by anyone on the internet.
4. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.
5. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.
Digital Escrow Service In India.
Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.
Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process.
There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free.
Check back here to learn more about Escrow and how to protect yourself from fraud.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!
As you're now aware of the importance of online safety, let's get your transactions secure on Vouch. It's just a click away.