2 examples of FB Marketplace scams

And what to do if you find yourself in one

BadPirate

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I’ve been slowly accumulating crap in my garage and decided to get ambitious and let it all go using FB Marketplace. Right now however, I’m batting 0/2 on those reaching out not being scammers. Below are both encounters so that you can see the commonality and get an idea of what to look out for.

Scam #1, Grandma in the middle

Why, Grandma, what an unusual way of reaching out to me on FB Messenger you have

4 red flags right here in the first instant.

🚩 #1 Reached out directly on messenger instead of through marketplace

Marketplace facilitates conversations related to purchases directly, if someone tries to send you a “cold” message you’ll get a warning from messenger asking if it’s okay to allow them to send messages. This is the first hint that something is going on. Chances of a scam at this point are pretty high, because in order to message someone directly about an item they are selling they actually have to take your name from Marketplace and look you up in messenger.

🚩 #2 “Using messenger without Facebook”

This is another big red flag, it’s easier to create fake messenger accounts than it is to create fake facebook accounts, (as you can look up user history) but doing so is super sus. They found your Marketplace listing so they _have_ a Facebook account so why would they reach out to you on a separate, unattached messenger account? Most of these red flags can have creative explanations, but put together they are pretty damning.

🚩 #3 Non-Threatening profile

Speaking of explanations, it’s common to use a profile that is some kindly old person, the scammer can pretend to be a doddering idiot when questioned about any of the other red flags, and it helps to gloss over any other

🚩 #4 Fake user

Looking up the user name in Facebook, I found a real person with this name, but it’s not the same as the messenger profile (clicking on profile for this messenger only account brings up an error). They use one of this persons real photos to help sell the falsehood.

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BadPirate

Kevin Lohman, Software Engineer, Father, Story Teller, and former US Navy Sailor (who never set foot on a ship)