Facebook Marketplace has over a million shops and 1 billion active users. It has become a go-to place for consumers to sell or buy everything, including smartphones, furniture, beauty products, games, and used cars. With growing popularity among users, Facebook Marketplace scams are also rising. Using the tips below, you can avoid a mouth-watering too-good-to-be-true deal on a top Chromebook and other items and save yourself from a Facebook Marketplace scam.


Facebook Marketplace is available to everyone to buy, sell, or trade goods. Since Facebook doesn’t verify sellers, scammers can post as someone else and lure customers into buying fake or defective items. Unlike Amazon, Facebook Marketplace bridges the gap between buyers and sellers and connects them via Messenger. It makes a buyer vulnerable and exposes them to a scammer.

Facebook Marketplace scams may look convincing. But once you pick up some red flags, it’s easy to connect the dots and spot fraudsters on the platform. Here’s how to save time and money by spotting Facebook Marketplace scams.

Check the seller’s profile

Let’s start with the basic checklist. Before sending a message to a seller, check the seller info page. If you don’t see a profile picture, image banner, or past Marketplace listings, the seller is probably a fake and trying to scam you on the platform.


Low price on a high-ticket item

Does a seller promise a brand-new high-end Android phone for $200? Or did you come across an AirPods Max for $100, which usually retails for $549? You shouldn’t fall for listings with a low price tag for high-ticket items. Even the best Black Friday deals on Amazon won’t get you such high discounts on popular items. You will either get a counterfeit product or won’t receive it at all.

You should also keep a close eye on such products. Some sellers may put a low-price tag to get your attention and then try to sell another expensive item or the same one with a high price. The trick is known as bait and switch.

Sellers ask you to pay on another platform

You should only use trusted payment methods like PayPal or Facebook Checkout to complete the purchase. These methods are secured by purchase protection, and you’ll get a refund if you don’t receive a product. If a seller insists on receiving payments through Venmo, CashApp, or crypto, it’s a red flag. Some sellers promise a discount for using another platform for payments. Don’t fall for these traps.


Buyers or sellers ask to use another platform for conversations

Both buyers and sellers should stick to the Facebook Marketplace for communication. If a seller asks you to move to another messaging app like Telegram or Signal, refuse and avoid the scammer.

Sellers refuse to meet in person

Meeting the seller in person allows you to examine the product before paying. If the seller lives in the same area or city and refuses to meet you in person to check the item, avoid such listings on the Marketplace.

Even when you meet the seller in person, make sure to set the meeting in a public place during the day hours. We also recommend bringing a friend or an expert to check the product.

Sellers ask for a small payment upfront


Sometimes, the seller may ask you to make a small payment upfront to hold the product. Chances are that the person asks other buyers to do the same for the exact product. If you rent a home or car, brokers may ask you to pay a deposit upfront to confirm the purchase. We advise avoiding such sellers, but if you choose to go ahead, use the official Facebook Pay payment method.

Facebook Marketplace has become a preferred place for posting rental properties. Avoid sellers that ask for irrelevant charges like background check fees or paperwork charges. If possible, visit the property or get it confirmed by someone you know in the area. The Marketplace is packed with fake sellers posting rentals owned by other people.

A buyer overpays a seller

In some cases, even the sellers get scammed by thieves and criminals posing as buyers on Facebook Marketplace. Here’s how the modus operandi works. When you list a product on Facebook Marketplace, a potential buyer shows interest and sends a larger amount than the asking price.

The scammer uses fake checks, stolen credit cards, or counterfeit funds to send money. The buyer admits the mistake and asks you to send the remaining amount as a refund. When the credit or debit card is reported as stolen to the authorities, the payment in your account is reversed, leaving you with nothing.

Buyers ask you to ship the product before payment

As a seller, you should avoid buyers who ask you to ship the product before making a payment. Such scammers may convince you that they need to check the product and its working condition before sending the payment. Then, they disappear after receiving the package at an abandoned place.

What to do if you are scammed on Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook is aware of growing scams in the Marketplace. The social giant has created a Purchase Protection policy to help you get a refund. It covers the following scenarios:

  • You didn’t receive the item.
  • The product is damaged or significantly different from the description.
  • The seller didn’t follow Facebook’s refund policy.

You can also report such sellers to Facebook:

  1. Head to the product listing page on Facebook Marketplace.
  2. Hover the cursor over the seller’s profile picture.
  3. Select Report from the floating menu.

  4. Choose a reason for reporting the seller.

Facebook asks you to provide evidence of the scam. It’s not foolproof, though. An independent report identified thousands of Marketplace listings that broke Facebook’s rules and failed to protect users from scammers.

Save your time and money on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook isn’t the only one dealing with scammers. Online retailer giant Amazon faces the same with fraudsters posting fake reviews to sell below-average products. Check our dedicated post to spot fake reviews on Amazon.

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