There is currently a scam circulating on Facebook Marketplace, and users are gradually becoming aware of it, thanks to observant sellers who have noticed a particular pattern in the scammers’ negotiation tactics. Let’s delve into the details and explore this further.
What is the latest scam?
A new wave of online scams has emerged, targeting users on popular platforms like Facebook Marketplace and other online marketplaces where individuals buy and sell goods.
Once a seller advertises an item for sale, scammers, posing as interested buyers, will initiate direct messages expressing their interest. However, they claim to be unable to pay in cash or collect the items in person due to being “out of town” or providing a similar excuse. This serves as a pretext for the scammers to suggest an alternative method of payment, typically through E-wallet services such as PayID.
Upon reaching an agreement, the scammers subsequently inform the seller about an issue arising in the transaction. The problem presented can vary, but it typically shifts the blame onto the seller and is always “resolved” by the seller sending money.
Interestingly, these scammers often display little to no interest in negotiating the price and may state their intention to send someone for pick up without inspecting the goods. They request payment through PayID, and shortly after providing their PayID details, the seller receives an email purporting to be from PayID. The email prompts the seller to deposit a specific amount of money into their account to resolve the issue. The scammers assure the seller that once this action is taken, both the promised payment from the buyer and the deposited amount will be received.
Unfortunately, due to the confusion, the seller ends up falling victim to the scam and sending the money, resulting in financial loss.
Tips to stay away from this scam:
- Rethink if someone gives you the excuse of “Out of Town” or a similar reason for not being able to meet in person.
- If you’re a seller, never pay any money, and if you’re buying, make sure the money is going to the right place.
- Be wary of anyone willing to pay the maximum price and/or request third-party collection without viewing a high-value item for sale.
- Verify the authenticity of an email by confirming if it originates from an official email address or not.
- Exercise caution when someone offers excuses to avoid meeting in person and shows a willingness to purchase goods without inspecting them.
- It is better to refrain from sharing your private details with unknown individuals or suspicious entities.
- If someone claims that there is an issue on your end, it is advisable to contact the relevant service provider through their official portal to verify the legitimacy of the claim.
Scams and malicious activities continue to rise, with online criminals constantly devising new ways to exploit unsuspecting victims. Given the speed and convenience of our digital lives, it’s important to stay alert and informed about potential risks. Staying connected to reputable sources can help keep you updated on the latest online scams and threats, helping you protect yourself and your personal information. By cultivating a vigilant mindset and staying up-to-date on the most recent developments in online security, you can feel confident in navigating the digital landscape with greater ease and peace of mind.