Facebook Marketplace has become a popular platform for buying and selling goods locally. However, like any online marketplace, it can be a target for scammers.
This week Lloyds TSB Bank in the United Kingdom warned about the scale of social media scams through services such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. TSB analysed its customer fraud data from January 2021 to December 2022 to make the findings. The data relates to cases where the platform has been recorded. Paul Davis, director of fraud prevention at TSB said its own data showed that eight in every ten instances of the most common scams originate on services such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
The story appeared the same week as Australian Fintech start-up SellSecurely.com launched its new software platform to protect consumers from scams when buying and selling on online marketplaces.
Founder of Sell Securely Rob Neely said: “It comes as no surprise as Sell Securely recently conducted research on scams and surveyed 1,000 Australians aged 18 and over in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard which provided similar data to what TSB has found.
An astonishing part of our findings was that 1 in 20 surveyed had been scammed up to 7 times or more.
SellSecurely.com’s findings come off the back of the ACCC’s Targeting Scams report which found Australians lost a record amount of more than $3.1bn to scams in 2022.
The ACCC report also found that losses to scams on social networking and online forums increased by 43% and bank transfers were the most reported payment method for scams with 13,098 reports totalling $210.4 million. Losses by bank transfer increased by 63%.
SellSecurely.com has launched its global first platform that seeks to provide a safe avenue for transferring money when buying and selling privately online. The platform, which is free to users, engages Escrow which protects the buyer and seller from fraud and non-payment issues arising.
Unlike other offerings, SellSecurely.com provides immediate payment once transactions are completed and approved by both the buyer and seller.”
Here are some common scams on Facebook Marketplace and how to avoid them:
Please take care when buying online and use sellsecurely.com as a recent UK study by Ofcom also suggested that 7 out of 10 people who have been scammed online then report negative mental health issues.
There is much more to being scammed than just losing money.