Marketplace allows users to buy and sell products within their local communities, making it a convenient and accessible platform for many.
However, this popularity has also led to an increase in scammers targeting unsuspecting users. In this op ed, we will explore the statistics of the rise of scammers on Facebook Marketplace over the past three years.
According to a recent report, there has been a significant increase in Facebook Marketplace scams over the past three years. In 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 2.1 million reports of fraud, with imposter scams being the most common type of fraud reported.
Imposter scams occur when scammers pretend to be someone they are not, such as a friend or a legitimate business, to trick people into sending money or personal information. This type of scam has become increasingly prevalent on Facebook Marketplace.
One of the most common Facebook Marketplace scams involves fake listings for popular products, such as iPhones or gaming consoles. Scammers will create fake listings for these items, often at a significantly lower price than what they are worth, to lure in unsuspecting buyers. Once a buyer has expressed interest, the scammer will ask for payment upfront, often through a payment app like PayID, and then disappear without ever sending the product. In some cases, scammers will even use fake tracking numbers to make it seem like the item is on its way.
Another common scam on Facebook Marketplace involves the use of fake profiles. Scammers will create fake profiles, often using pictures of attractive people, to make themselves seem more trustworthy. They will then use these profiles to sell fake products or to trick people into sending money. In some cases, scammers will even go as far as creating fake Facebook Marketplace pages that look identical to the real ones, making it difficult for users to tell the difference.
The rise of these scams on Facebook Marketplace is not surprising, given the platform’s popularity. As of 2021, Facebook had over 2.8 billion monthly active users, making it the largest social media platform in the world. With so many users, it is inevitable that scammers will try to exploit the platform for their own gain. However, what is concerning is the rate at which these scams are increasing.
According to a recent survey by security firm Tessian, 66% of Americans have been targeted by a scam on social media, with Facebook being the most common platform, with Australia’s ACCC suggesting this years combined losses might reach $4 billion as losses reported to Scamwatch are already significantly higher than 2021/22.