Better Business Bureau Evansville Shares Red Flags to Watch For When Selling Online
You know the saying: If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't. Or Fool me once...I actually don't remember the rest of that one. That's probably one of the reasons that I keep getting fooled on Facebook Marketplace.
Online Yard Sales Are The Best...Or Are They?
Last year, I cleaned out my hot mess closet and sold a bunch of shoes through Facebook Marketplace and the yard sale sites. I did run into a few issues, but those were mainly people not showing up, asking questions that have already been answered, or agreeing to buy something, then changing their minds. Boy, those were the good ole days. As it turns out, higher price listings attract actual scammers.
Text Me NOW
As soon as I posted my first item, I received a Marketplace message from someone that wanted to buy it. What a rush! So, when the guy asked me to text him what do I do...
Yes, I did have a text exchange. This is a huge red flag. No one needs our phone number to buy something through Facebook.
Here's the First Red Flag
This was not even a real person's account. I'm happy to say that I did not text this one.
Here's What The Better Business Bureau Says About Marketplace Scams
Now that I realized that I might have fallen victim to some sort of scam, I reached out to Oana Schneider, she is the Director of Media Services with the Better Business Bureau Serving Evansville and the Tri-State.
Why do the scammers immediately ask you to text them – And I’m assuming now that you should not do that! But if someone requests a text, it is a red flag, right?
"Yes, that’s a red flag. These people don’t even live in the tri-state area, they just pick out listings involving large, expensive items. They want you to text back to make sure the ad is still up, that your phone number is still active etc. My concern is that they’ll try to target you with other scams now that they know your phone number is active. Please be careful!"
More Helpful Tips From BBB When Selling on Facebook Marketplace
- Don’t trust anyone willing to overpay you. Unless your item is rare and you receive multiple offers, be wary of buyers offering you more than your asking price. Consider it a red flag if someone is quick to send you more money than you are asking.
- Check email addresses carefully. If you seem to have received an email from Zelle, or another payment app, double-check the email address. Scammers use fake email addresses that are similar to official ones.
- Get to know payment app policies before you use them. If someone claims you need a business account to accept payments, check the app’s official website or contact customer service to find out if the claim is true. Scammers often make up fake policies to trick their victims.
- Report scams to Facebook Marketplace. If you spot a seller trying to pull off a scam, report them. Your report can help protect other unsuspecting sellers.