Facebook Marketplace Scams: How to Avoid and Report Them

Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular platform for buying and selling goods, rivaling Craigslist and eBay. Its main attraction is the absence of listing fees, drawing many users. However, its popularity also makes it a hotspot for scams. Knowing how to avoid and report the common scams on Facebook Marketplace is crucial for a safe online transaction experience. Facebook Marketplace Scams

Common Facebook Marketplace Scams and Red Flags

  1. Payment Before Item Receipt: A classic scam where the buyer is asked to pay in advance but receives nothing in return. Avoid this by never paying for an item before accepting it.
  2. Too-Good-to-Be-True Prices: Meager prices can indicate counterfeit goods or non-working electronics. Inspect items in person before purchasing.
  3. Non-Working Electronics Scam: Be wary when buying electronics. Please test the item in person to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  4. Overpayment and Refund Scams: If a buyer overpays and requests a refund, it’s likely a scam. The initial payment will bounce, leaving you at a loss.
  5. Code Verification Scams: Never share verification codes sent to your phone with others. These can be used to hijack your accounts or set up fraudulent ones.
  6. Fake Rental Listings: Always verify rental properties independently before engaging in transactions.
  7. Bait and Switch Tactics: If the original item is unavailable and the seller offers a different, often inferior product, it’s likely a bait-and-switch scam.
  8. Claims of Lost Packages: As a seller, always use tracked shipping to prevent false non-receipt claims. Buyers should insist on tracking numbers for their purchases.
  9. Unverified Payment Receipts: Refrain from trusting unverified payment receipts. Use services like PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle to confirm instant payment.
  10. Phishing Scams through Giveaways: Be cautious of giveaways that require personal information. These are often phishing attempts.

Reporting Facebook Marketplace Scams

  • Dealing with Suspicious Users: If you suspect a scam, cease communication and report the incident to Facebook.
  • Reporting a Listing: To report a scam listing, open the listing, click the three-dot menu next to the Share button, and select “Report listing.”
  • Reporting a Scammer: If a buyer or seller seems fraudulent, you can report them by hovering over their name on the listing and clicking “Report.”


Navigating Facebook Marketplace safely requires vigilance and an understanding of common scams. By recognizing red flags and knowing the appropriate steps to report suspicious activity, you can protect yourself and others from falling victim to these scams. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Stay informed and cautious to ensure a secure online buying and selling experience.

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