6 Fake Marketplace ads are posted online every minute.
Facebook Marketplace is an e-commerce paradise for convenient shopping and a scammer’s paradise for unsuspecting users.
Report on Online Marketplaces March 10, 2023.
Online marketplaces increased as one of the many effects of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, reflected in the accelerated migration of many face-to-face activities towards online environments. Online trading experienced significant growth during this time.
At the same time, the risks associated with these digital environments have increased. A telling example is during January – December 2022, In which ~300,000 reports of scams were made to the ACCC, so almost 6000 scam reports a week.
These cases involved the collection of personal data through online resources, phishing and targeting those who posted advertisements for the sale of objects through online platforms (marketplace) dedicated to buying and selling goods and services. (OLX)
There are various OLX platforms, including Gumtree, Craigslist, ETSY and the most dominant which is Facebook Marketplace.
Marketplaces integration within the Facebook platform allows users to sell, buy or rent effortlessly. These Facebook marketplace statistics we’ve gathered will shed some light on its performance.
Facebook Marketplace is a feature that allows users to buy and sell items directly through the Facebook app. It’s been around since October 2016, and has quickly become one of the most popular ways to buy and sell goods online.
According to the latest Facebook Marketplace statistics, over 1.1 billion Facebook users in 70 countries are now using Facebook Marketplace, which reportedly has 51.19% of the online market share for social commerce.
Some Key Facebook Marketplace Statistics
- Facebook Marketplace reach 1.1 billion users per month in 2021.
- 6 faked Facebook Marketplace ads posted every minute. *Source Business DIT
- $26 billion in Facebook Marketplace revenue, an increase of 48 percent from last year.
- 14% of people had made a purchase using Marketplace, as opposed to 6% for Craigslist. 
- 9% had been approached by a fake profile on Facebook Marketplace.
- 17% people were scammed on Facebook Marketplace.
- From June to October 2021, Google searches for keywords ‘Facebook Marketplace scams’ climbed by 16%.
- Furniture, Kids toys, Vehicles, Tools are among the most popular items on Facebook marketplace.
- Facebook Marketplace ads reach 562 million people.
There is a very compelling feature that attracts sellers to sell used or second-hand goods on Facebook Marketplace, along with all transactions being free!
For example, you are selling a car, there are several platforms that specialise in vehicles, Carsales.com, Gumtree, Autotrader etc. However the cheapest listing on any of these sites starts at around $70 and goes up significantly if you want all of the Add-Ons, whereas you can sell the same car on Facebook Marketplace for no cost at all. It’s tailored to where you live and for the genuine buyers and sellers it works very well.
But with a reported 6 fake Facebook Marketplace ads posted globally every minute, you need to be very careful as these scammers are professional.
Scammers depend on fear tactics. Many scams cause you to drop your guard and, in a moment of panic, click dodgy links or reveal personal information such as date of birth, account numbers and passwords. Many Facebook scammers quickly try and get you to move onto SMS and then ask you for your PayID information.
Scammers often traffic in gift cards. If anyone asks for payments in gift cards, walk away fast—gift cards are often favoured by criminals because of their difficulty to trace.
As more Australians become aware of common scams, the level of sophistication – including tactics to build relationships and manipulate potential customers is increasing, as scammers find new ways to steal money.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) recently said it has seen an increase in PayID impersonation scams as Australian’s are facing the cost-of-living crunch turn to websites such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, to sell their unwanted goods.
The scammers respond to the online listings offering to pay using PayID, an instant payment method that uses a person’s mobile number, email or ABN to send and receive money.
They then trick their victims into paying a fee to activate or upgrade their account, with a fake emails usually sent to the seller informing them of a problem with the “transaction”.
NAB Executive Group Investigations and Fraud Chris Sheehan said PayID impersonation is the latest scam gaining traction but the true number of similar schemes impacting the community is expected to be much higher given many aren’t reported.
“No one wants to try to sell their old couch, fridge, phone or pram and it inadvertently ends up costing them. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening more and more when people try to sell items online,” Mr Sheehan said.
“Cyber criminals are sophisticated and we’re unfortunately now seeing them try to exploit PayID given on the whole, it isn’t as familiar to the community as other ways to send and receive money.”
You can easily avoid scammers by using SellSecurely.com to send or request payment.
SellSecurely.com stop scammers, as they won’t want to use the secure site for payment.
About the Author:
Rob Neely is the co-founder of sellsecurely.com
Sellsecurely.com offers equal protection to all parties involved in transactions by using escrow and is regulated by the Australian Government agency Austrac.
Sellsecurely.com is the safest option for purchases made on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. It can be used on all kinds of purchases, including cars, digital products, motorcycles, farm equipment, boats and other high-value merchandise. Sell-securely.com can be used on services, too, such as consultants.