Scammed On Facebook Marketplace ish

After my previous success grabbing a 1060 graphics card on Facebook Marketplace from a nice guy who’s price was much lower than average at the time my faith in humanity was maybe a little too high when I spotted a 2080 listed for just £60..

Now considering the price was too good to be true and scammers being rife right now on Facebook Market Place I should just skip over these sort of listing, but.. what if.. kicked in and I decided to message the seller to check if the price was right..

Ok, at this point I should have walked away, there’s plenty of red flags..

  • The price is too good to be true
  • The location has changed to just out of reasonable collection distance
  • The seller’s opening line is designed to make me think if I don’t do it right now I’ll miss this deal
  • The seller has no profile picture.

Of course, I didn’t do that, I took a look at the sellers Facebook profile, and while it was mainly locked down, which is pretty reasonable, it has been about for many years and seems legit so despite the alarm bells I decided this could still be worth a punt.. BUT ONLY if I can pay via Paypal Goods & Services which provides buyer protection.

OK, they are fine with Paypal, honestly there’s very little risk for me paying with Paypal goods and services, sure there’s another flag with them wanting me to pay via the ridiculously insecure method of bank transfer, and at this point I expected it all to fall apart, let’s hear the reason why I can’t actually pay via Paypal afteral…

But the reasons didn’t come, and I paid by Paypal Goods and Services.. It’s amazing how quick things change once money has changed hands, the seller became very sluggish responding.. I think this was the point he figured he can’t get his hands on the money due to the way I’ve paid.

I gave Paypal a quick phonecall to find out if there actually was an issue, and it turns out the funds were on hold at the other end till thee seller had provided a valid tracking number and I had confirmed receipt, which is measures put in place on new or questionable accounts, in response to the amount of scammers about, I got in touch with the seller to tell them they could give Paypal a call and they would confirm the money was there and how to get to it.

It was also at this time I did some additional checks that I should have done in the first place, (and it would have taken me seconds to know for certain this was a scam) I did a reverse google image search and found the place the seller had stolen the images used in the advert. I also asked a friend of a friend to get in touch with the seller to see if the item was still for sale, which apparently it was so I got in touch with the seller again knowing well that I would be filling a paypal dispute.

The seller promptly blocked me on Facebook, and I proceeded to report the seller on Facebook, and file a dispute on Paypal, which is quite a simple process, I simply described what happened, attached screenshots and then all I had to do was wait. Three weeks later, the money was back in my bank account.

Lessons Learned

I’ll admit taking this punt, knowing that Paypal protection would come through for me if things went the way they did, while being safe and secure for me, is not 100% worry free, I had moments of wondering if there was some loop hole I had missed, did the scammer know something I don’t? Until the money was returned to my account I had a little doubt as to if it was going to come back.

I could have avoided all the worry by doing the simple steps I did half way through the process, knowing the pictures were simply stolen from the internet and asking the seller to take another photo with their name on a post-it is a very simple way to figure out if the seller even has the item they claim to be selling.

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