Facebook Marketplace Scams to Watch Out for in 2024

| Updated on February 29, 2024

Facebook Marketplace is a dream destination for potential purchasers and sellers. With a giant user base on Facebook that ranges to more than 3 billion, scammers have also managed to enter the league. 

Facebook Marketplace Scams

However, fraud can be traced right away if you know what to look for. With this in mind, go through the article to discover the most common Facebook Marketplace scams and how to report them.

10 Most Common Facebook Marketplace Scams

If you are an avid buyer and shopper and want to make the most out of Facebook Marketplace, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the most common Facebook Marketplace scams to avoid falling into the trap. 

Faulty or Damaged Items 

Purchasing a product without checking its configuration, state, or condition can lead to receiving faulty or damaged items. So, you should always consider doing a recce of over-expensive products before purchasing them. To do so, you can ask the seller to send pictures or videos. And, if possible, inspect the product in person to make an informed decision.

However, in this case, you can face a scam as a seller too. For instance, a buyer can claim that he/she has received a faulty item and can ask for a refund. So, always keep a video recording of your parcel while packing it as a piece of evidence.

Stolen Goods

Scammers on Facebook Marketplace aim to sell stolen items. So, if you have any doubts regarding the prices or anything, ask the seller for proof like a receipt, bill, and other related documents. 

If found guilty, consider reporting to the FB help center because the platform also prohibits the sale of stolen items under its commerce policies

Fake Payments Confirmation

Fake Payment scams are becoming popular on most platforms. In this case, the scammers can send you fake emails or screenshots from PayPal or other digital payment services, confirming that they have already paid the required amount for the product. 

So to avoid these frauds, always check your bank statements to verify the payment status before shipping the items.

Rental Scams 

The rental scams are known to be new in the market. These include fake listings of properties, bikes, equipment, and other potential rental items. In this case, scammers will advertise properties on the platforms, insist you make a payment and then they will vanish. 

So, to prevent yourself from falling for this scam, double-check the documents, visit the property in person, and schedule a meeting with the owner.

Attempt to Steal Your Data

Another version of scams includes stealing your data to access your accounts and bank savings. The process starts by sending you a phishing SMS or email, asking you to verify your identity by sending your date of birth or other information.  Further, this data can be used to obtain credit cards in your name or any government identity. 

So, it is crucial to stay observant while sharing your data with anyone you don’t fully trust. If you find any suspicious activity on your account, consider logging out and logging in to Facebook Marketplace again.

Counterfeit Goods  

The trend toward luxury items has charmed society. With this, the sale of counterfeit items has become one of the most popular Facebook marketplace scams. Unfortunately, the sellers have a kind of magic that makes you believe that they are legitimate products.

The best bet to make is to compare the product with the original one with sharp eyes and check the reviews. After all, if someone is selling a Prada bag that costs $2200 for $400, it is likely a counterfeit. 

Non-Working Electronics 

If you are planning to buy electronics products, you must always keep in mind to go through the conditions of them. The seller may fool you by sending you an old video of a working product. And after getting delivered to you, it is common if you find it defective. 

This is why you should make a lot of electronic items in person. For instance, while purchasing a laptop, always check its charger, mouse, keypad, and the entire system. 


Attention sellers — The overpayment scam can lead you to suffer heavy financial losses. The buyer accidentally pays you over the amount of the original one, and then asks you to return the extra money. But once you do the transaction, the scammer declines the old payment, as it can be done from stolen cards or other fake sites.

So to prevent overpayment scams, always decline the overpayments, and ask the buyer to do the correct transaction. 

Provided Shipping Labels

Prepaid shipping labels are almost always scams. If buyers insist you send the parcel on shipping labels, making illogical excuses, then you are likely to fall victim to a scam. 

As a result, the buyer can change the parcel’s destination, claim not to have received it, and ask for a refund. So as a seller, strictly say no to labels to attain a tracking number that can help you track the order once shipped.

Fake Giveaways or Gift Cards 

You might have received a message or email saying you have won a MacBook to acclaim, click on the link below once in your life. That link is the source for fraudsters. In over-excitement, you simply click on the link that will redirect you to another page and say to follow some prompts. During this period, the scammers extract the data from your device. 

So, don’t get too far away from the false links and avoid clicking on the fake advertising links. 

Is Facebook Marketplace Safe?

Facebook Marketplace has quickly become a convenient place to shop for items at discounted prices. As popularity grows, the risks of scams are also rising. That is why, Meta (Facebook Parent’s company) has issued safety guidelines that one should go through before buying or selling any product. 

Apart from these, you should never share your personal information with any seller or third-party people. Lastly, by keeping all the communication on Facebook Messenger for business, you can effectively protect against call or text-related scams. 

How to Identify Facebook Marketplace Scammers?

Buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace may become a part of your daily routine. But, you must take a look at some of the red flags that may demonstrate that you are dealing with a marketplace scammer.

  • New Profile or Fake Account: If a buyer or seller’s profile looks new and empty with no friends, fewer followers, and no authentic posts, you should think twice before dealing with them. An older profile with a natural number of followers can be a good sign. 
  • Asking for Personal Data: Beware of those who force you to share personal information like your phone number or credit card details. Therefore, never click on naked URLs as they can land you on unsafe websites.  
  • Unusual Payment Methods: Never agree to the buyer’s obscure payment methods, such as services like PayPal. Otherwise, it suggests some authentic transactions. 
  • Deals are too Good to be True: Move further carefully with the deals that seem a lot to be in your favor. Always take your time to do a little research before making any decision. 

Apart from these, if a buyer or seller is reluctant to meet in person, do not ignore these signs of a scammer.  

How to Avoid Scams on Facebook Marketplace?

It is worth noting some protection tips to keep yourself safe from Facebook Market place scams.

  • Do a little research on the product from your end before buying.
  • Check the seller’s badge and reviews.
  • Adhere to Meta’s guidelines.
  • Communicate strictly on the Facebook App regarding everything.
  • Use two-factor authentication with your account.
  • Decline overpayments and request a correction.
  • Avoid clicking on any suspicious links. 
  • Avoid making pressurized decisions. 

Remember, it is always better to overlook a deal rather than lose your money. 

How to Report a Facebook Marketplace Scams?

Despite remaining extra cautious, if you find yourself a victim of the scammers, consider reporting at that time to protect your remaining valuable assets. 

Here’s how to report a Facebook marketplace scam:

  • Report the listings: It is important to report the listings of the scammers, so they won’t be able to do scams in the future. To do so; 
Tap on the three-dot icon right beside the post/advertisement>> Select Report the listings>> Follow the on-screen prompts. 
  • Report the User: You need to navigate to the user’s Facebook profile to report them. After that;
Tap on the three dots icon>> Find support or report>> Follow the on-screen prompts. 
  • Submit Feedback to Facebook: If you have been a victim, consider reporting the same to the FB team by writing detailed feedback to them with all the evidence. 
  • File a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3):

If you have undergone some financial losses due to the scam, immediately file a complaint to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre and wait for the feedback.

Conclusion: Scams are Crimes

Recognizing scams before they happen to you can be helpful to protect your hard-earned money. If you face any, without any question, report it to the concerned authority to protect other people from falling for scammers. 

Lastly, while buying and selling anything, strictly adhere to the tips mentioned in this guide.


How to find fake buyers on Facebook marketplace? 

You must notice every detail of it, like if he/she is willing to do advance payments, insisting you continue chatting on another platform, overpayments, and more.

Is it OK to give out your address on Facebook Marketplace?

It is suggested that you not share any of your personal information with sellers, including your phone number, home address, credit card details, and more.

How do you know if you are chatting with a scammer?

You might receive some suspicious text, like if they are asking for sensitive information, advance payments, sending links, and more.

What can a scammer do with my phone number?

Scammers can hijack your phone number and access your financial details and social media accounts through it.


Recognizing scams: Facebook Help Centre 

Buying on Marketplace: Help Centre 

Muskan Saini

Social Media and Tech Expert

Related Posts