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  • Writer's pictureTim Jones

The Facebook Marketplace Scam

I am frequently buying and selling computers and tech on Facebook marketplace (usually selling refurbished computers). It's very apparent that this corner of the internet has become a bit of a scammers paradise ! (just like everywhere else I suppose).

Often, soon after posting an advert I will often get several enquiries. The dodgy ones are where the prospective buyer quickly agrees to purchase without seeing the item, not asking for any information or haggling on price. These enquiries usually lead up to the scam.

This scam is often called the 'Fedex' or 'UPS' scam. The scammer will start off by saying that they will buy the item, but they are extremely busy in work or away with work. They explain that they will send a Fedex delivery person to pick up the item and hand over an envelope with the cash.

I was curious to see what happens next but I did not take it that far as apparently they can get a bit nasty so I didn't push my luck.

The next part of the scam is that they ask for your personal details (which I suppose in this day and age is already too much info to be giving out to strangers...) They asked for my Name, Address, total cost and email address.

If you provide those details they then apparently then ask you for a payment that insures the cash in the envelope - I think it's usually £50. If you pay that you end up with nothing and the chat discontinues. It's a complete scam and it's made worse by the fact that they have your details.

It's not a sophisticated scam, but it could catch someone out if they were really desperate to sell and/or new to the platform. It does have a few of the common red flags though; a stranger requesting personal information and payment. Apparently Fedex do not even provide a parcel collection service either. I received the same scam messages from 3 different people on facebook within 3 hours of posting my advert, so it is a scam that is still happening (July 10, 2023).


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