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Marketplace Scams

Facebook Marketplace has become a wildly popular way for people to buy and sell goods online, from antique lamps to used cars. Unfortunately, it’s also become a hotspot for fraudsters – and they’ve found tricky ways to scam both buyers and sellers alike.

Common Marketplace scam tactics:

  • Pressuring you to pay for the item ahead of time or make a deposit to “secure” it.
  • Listing a counterfeit or non-working item at a “too good to be true” price.
  • Asking you to send back codes texted to your phone – This could be a two-factor authorization code used to hack into one of your accounts!
  • Sending you fake payment receipts from popular peer-to-peer payment apps (PayPal, Venmo, etc.) – Scammers create these as payment “proof.” Your safest option is to not pay for items using these apps. Use your debit/credit card or even choose “paying for an item or service” in PayPal, so you can dispute the charge if it’s fraud.

Tips for protecting yourself:

  • Review the seller’s or buyer’s product reviews and ratings.
  • Don’t communicate with buyers or sellers outside of Facebook Messenger.
  • Meet up at a public place, even a police station, to complete transactions.
  • Don’t complete payments if pressured to do so through untraceable methods, like gift cards.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a Facebook Marketplace scam, report it to Facebook and reach out to your financial institution right away. Summit members, you can always reach us at 800‑236‑5560 or  

Please share details with us when you hear of, or experience, a possible scam! This helps us inform and protect our members and community.

Want more fraud-fighting tips?

Keep exploring more ways to spot and stop a scam.


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