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Buying from Facebook Marketplace and not getting scammed

Buying from Facebook Marketplace and not getting scammed

Marketplace is becoming more and more unsafe to buy 2nd hand goods from. It is attracting more scammers by the day. Everyday now I'm seeing posts from people who have bought something from marketplace, paid their money then they get blocked, their money is gone and they do not receive their purchase.

There are a number of things you can do to try and stop this from happening to you. The best way is to not buy off marketplace!

If you must, firstly if the deal is too good to be true, it likely is. There are other things that are red flags I've listed below. Not always but if the listing contains a few, be cautious.

  • Typically there is a full factory description of the item.
  • The person is selling many similar items
  • No profile picture
  • Only just joined Facebook or buy/sell group
  • Will take a holding fee

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Buy from well moderated groups. Not fool proof as it sometimes really hard to spot a fake profile but where a group requires admin approval to join or participate, at least another pair of eyes have checked the profile.
  • Check that the person has a legitimate looking profile. Is it a new account? Is the name spelt strangely? What can you see on their profile? What is their location and occupation?
  • Cash on day of collection so you can inspect item if it is something you are picking it up
  • Ask questions. Is the seller demonstrating a good knowledge of the product?
  • Do the photos appear to be of the actual item? Or are they just catalogue photos? Photos of the actual item help prove it exists BUT these photos could have been copied from elsewhere.

If you have ANY doubts, do not proceed! I'm more than happy to check out any accounts if you would like my opinion.

If you are selling, they are also targetting sellers.

  • DO NOT SEND ANYTHING UNLESS THE MONEY IS SHOWING IN YOUR ACCOUNT!!!!! Screenshots as proof of payment can be manipulated. 
  • Only accept cash in your hand or payment into your account prior if something is being collected.
  • They will want to book the couirer themselves then send you a link to confirm. This is normally pretending to be from NZ Post.
  • They will want to pay using Paypal. 

Netsafe have some tips on this link.

Check out this photo. This is from a scammer group I belong to. This person searched for phones on marketplace. Did a quick check on the first few listing and all the photos with the X on them are scams.

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