Uncovering Facebook Marketplace Scams: How to Avoid Getting Ripped Off in 2023

Introduction: Facebook Marketplace Scams

Are you an enthusiastic user of Facebook Marketplace, the virtual marketplace that facilitates buying and selling within your local community? While this platform offers convenience, it’s essential to be vigilant against potential scams that can exploit unsuspecting users. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to buy and sell used items. However, it’s also a popular platform for scammers. In 2022, people reported losing over $3.3 billion to online scams, and Facebook Marketplace was one of the most common platforms used. In this article, we’ll delve into the realm of Facebook Marketplace scams, equipping you with valuable insights to shield yourself from fraudulent activities. Let’s dive into the various types of scams that are prevalent and learn how to sidestep them effectively.

How to “Avoid” Facebook Marketplace Scams

When it comes to ensuring your safety while using Facebook Marketplace, familiarity with potential scams is paramount. Here are specific strategies to consider:

  1. Stay Wary of Phone Number Requests: Be cautious if a seller or buyer insists on sharing or obtaining your phone number early in the conversation. Scammers may use this information to initiate further fraudulent activities.
  2. Beware of Zelle Scams on Facebook Marketplace: Zelle has become a favored method for scammers due to its quick transactions. Watch out for anyone who requests payments via Zelle before you’ve verified their authenticity.
  3. Spot Common Scams: Educate yourself about the common scams that plague Facebook Marketplace. These include offers that seem too good to be true or buyers who pressure you to make rapid decisions.
  4. Verification Code Requests: Be vigilant against messages asking for verification codes. Scammers might impersonate Facebook or claim that it’s a part of the verification process.
  5. Google Voice Scams: Some scammers use Google Voice to mask their identity. Be cautious if someone insists on communicating solely through this platform.

How to “Spot” Facebook Marketplace Scams

Recognizing potential scams requires a keen eye for details. Look out for these telltale signs:

  1. Unrealistically Low Prices: If a listing offers an item at an unusually low price compared to its market value, exercise caution. Scammers often employ this tactic to attract unsuspecting buyers.
  2. Overwhelming Urgency: Scammers create a sense of urgency to pressure you into making hasty decisions. Genuine sellers typically allow buyers adequate time to consider their options.
  3. Verification Code Manipulation: Scammers might request verification codes under false pretenses. Never share these codes, as they could grant scammers access to your account.
  4. Unconventional Payment Requests: Be wary of sellers or buyers who insist on using unconventional payment methods like gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency.

How to “Avoid” Facebook Marketplace Scams as a Seller

As a seller, safeguard your interests by adopting these practices:

  1. Cash Transactions in Person: Whenever possible, prefer cash transactions conducted in person. Avoid remote payment methods to minimize risks.
  2. Maintain Caution with Phone Numbers: Refrain from sharing your personal phone number. Keep communication within the platform to ensure your privacy.
  3. Transparent Listings: Provide comprehensive descriptions and clear images of your items. This minimizes the chance of misunderstandings and disputes.

What “To Do” if you have been scammed on Facebook

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people reported losing over $3.3 billion to online scams in 2022.

If you think you have been scammed on Facebook, you can report it to Facebook:

  • Go to the Help Center.
  • Click on Report a scam.
  • Select the type of scam you believe you have encountered.
  • Provide as much information as you can about the scam, including the name of the scammer, the item they were selling, and how they contacted you.

You can also report the scam to the FTC:

  • Go to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network website.
  • Click on File a complaint.
  • Provide as much information as you can about the scam, including the name of the scammer, the item they were selling, and how they contacted you.

The FTC will investigate the scam and take action if necessary.

Here are some other things you can do if you think you have been scammed on Facebook:

  • Change your passwords. This includes your Facebook password, as well as the passwords for any other accounts that use the same email address or password.
  • Monitor your accounts. Be on the lookout for any unauthorized activity, such as charges on your credit card or withdrawals from your bank account.
  • File a police report. This can help you get your money back if you are able to identify the scammer.


By being well-informed about the various tactics scammers employ and staying proactive in protecting your transactions, you can confidently utilize Facebook Marketplace without falling prey to scams. Remember to verify users, exercise caution with payment methods, and trust your instincts. If a situation appears suspicious, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-prepared to navigate the digital marketplace securely.

Feel free to comment below and for more valuable sports content, explore my other informative posts here.

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