Did you know about 270 million active Facebook Marketplace users might be fake? That’s about 13% to 16% fake accounts! Surprisingly, one in six users say they have fallen prey to scams on Facebook

The 16% increase in fraud cases in the second half of 2021 makes it the scammers’ favorite platform. These con artists are always coming up with new ways to trick and steal people’s money. 

Even smart and cautious people can fall prey to Facebook Marketplace scams. This guide offers practical ways of avoiding scams on Facebook Marketplace. We’ll also include various scam stories and how to avoid typical scams on Facebook. 

Let’s begin. 

What Scams Are on Facebook Marketplace

Scammers use various tactics on Facebook Marketplace. Some people pretend to “sell” goods and services they don’t have, and you only find out when you go to claim what you ordered.

Others use phishing scams, particularly those that target potential customers. Scammers frequently use low prices on costly items to lure victims into talks so they can attempt to obtain their personal information afterward.

Facebook dealt with about 1.5 billion fake accounts in the final quarter 2022. This shows the sizable number of people trying to trick honest users.

If you use Facebook Marketplace, you’ll sometimes run into a scam because scams are common. Knowing how to spot scams on Facebook Marketplace and secure yourself is crucial, particularly when engaged in social selling.

Why So Many Scams on Facebook Marketplace?

Scammers target Facebook Marketplace for various reasons. First, it has a vast user base and is a well-liked platform, which makes it a perfect place for scammers. 

Also, because of the platform’s fewer entrance requirements, scammers can easily create fake accounts and postings. For example, Facebook currently has about three billion active users, with two billion logging in every day. 

Out of these billion users, you’ll find six fake Facebook Marketplace ads posted every minute! Furthermore, since scammers can hide behind false identities thanks to the anonymity offered by online platforms, this can encourage them. 

Scammers may also exist since sellers and customers are not subjected to rigorous verification processes.

Also Read: Taking Control: Removing Your Info from Data Brokers

How to Spot and Avoid Scams on Facebook Marketplace

Scams on Facebook are generally divided into two categories: 

  • Scams directed at buyers and
  • Facebook Marketplace scams directed at sellers.

Scammers have created strategies to take advantage of both groups. So, it’s crucial to know the types of scams and how they can affect you, whether you’re a buyer or a seller on Facebook Marketplace.

Usually, their main goals are to get your account login credentials, personal information, or sensitive financial information, such as bank and credit card information.

Here’s how to spot scams on Facebook Marketplace: 

The issue of cybersecurity is becoming more and more significant as days go by. The social media network Facebook is not left out. Billions of users are targeted by scammers on a regular basis. Fraudsters create various hoaxes and propagate them via email, Messenger, or Facebook’s News Feed.

Facebook scams aim to spread false stories, infect users’ devices with malware, steal personal information, and cheat people of their money.

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams have persisted for years and are not new to Facebook users. These scams often involve receiving false emails that get you to act frequently by clicking on a link. These links pretend to go to Facebook but take you to a fake website.

Sometimes, the scam website may claim that your account has been compromised. In other cases, it may ask you to confirm your login information. 

Email usage that includes a link to reset your Facebook password and claims that it’s required for security reasons is a worrying trend. 

Whatever the cover, the end goal is always to persuade you to give access to your private information.

Consequences of Phishing Scams

If you fall for this common fraud, cybercriminals will have access to the data they need to cause trouble. Depending on the information you submit, they may take over your Facebook account and pretend to be you while misleading your friends. 

They might even hack into your account, drain its funds, or use your credit card to make unauthorized purchases.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

Consider these precautions to guard against this type of scams on Facebook:

  • Be vigilant and cautious for suspicious inquiries.
  • Limit who can see your personal information.
  • Examine the authenticity of the buyers’ Facebook profiles to verify their legitimacy.
  • Use traceable payment methods and safe communication channels.
  • Learn about the common phishing techniques.
  • Follow your gut and be wise in your actions.
  • Report any suspicious buyers immediately to Facebook Marketplace for review.

Related: TOP 10 Cyber Security Threats: All You Need to Know

2. Prepaid Shipping Labels and Lost Packages

Watch out for buyers offering you a shipping label already paid for. The label may seem genuine, but there’s a catch. 

When you mail the goods, they may request delivery to a different location than the one on the label. They can then claim they never received the package.

Some buyers don’t use this shipping label scam. They simply claim they weren’t satisfied with their purchase and ask you, the trustworthy party, for a refund. 

They then use Facebook’s Purchase Protection Policy to do this. If you want to know how to avoid scams on Facebook Marketplace, never use a prepaid shipping label provided by a customer. 

Also, always use tracking information to maintain tabs on your goods. This can help you prevent Facebook Marketplace scams.

3. Google Voice Scams

 A TikTok user, Michel Janse, was selling furniture, and one lady offered to buy them. Since Facebook Marketplace scams are widespread, she checked the lady’s profile to confirm. But this time, she got her checks wrong. 

The buyer asked Janse to accept a phone call from Google Voice to confirm whether she was legitimate. After several conversations, Janse gave the scammer her number and got a code. Then, she sent that code to the scammer. 

So I gave her my number and got a code. She asked me to send her that code and said she would call me. And that’s where the scammer took control. 

Where Janse Made a Mistake 

This is where Janse made a mistake. Scammers use your phone number to send you a secret code. If you give them the code, they can create a Google Voice number connected to your phone number, just like Janse did. 

This allows the scammers to pose as Americans even while they are not. So, if you want to know how to avoid scams on Facebook Marketplace, be cautious if someone asks for your personal information, like your phone number. 

Take it as a red flag when they ask for a Google Voice verification code. 

Related: How to Stay Safe from the Google Voice Scam?

4. Quick Fire Scam

Paige Hinson listed her garden furniture for $700 on Facebook Marketplace. Soon after, she received a message from a buyer who appeared keen to purchase the furniture. The buyer insisted on picking up the furniture the next day. 

But this was a trap. The buyer wanted Hinson to transfer $500 into her account to confirm if she wasn’t a scammer. After confirmation, she’ll return the money with the $700. 

The scammer asked for an email address, which Hinson gave because she thought she couldn’t get scammed with just an email address. She got a legit-looking email from PayPal with all the money transfer details. 

Usually, these scammers will say sending your money is the only way to complete the sale. This is a red flag. Luckily for Hinson, she called her bank to confirm the hunch she was having, which proved to be true. 

Don’t Give in to the Scammer’s Pressure

Watch out for any signs of pressure or urgency a buyer gives you. Usually, these scammers are pushy and create some sense of urgency and intensity, giving you less time to think. 

For example, the scammer asks Hinson if the furniture is available and whether she could pick it up tomorrow. Take the time to process the situation, and don’t send any funds unless you’ve verified your checks. 

According to Australia’s ACCC, over $3 billion was lost by victims of scams in 2022, a record sum that is 80% higher than in 2021. 

So, always be extra careful when selling on Facebook Marketplace. 

Also Read: Digital Privacy: Tips on How to Protect Yourself Online 

5. Counterfeit Goods

Facebook Marketplace faces massive challenges because of the increasing demand for luxury goods and the availability of counterfeit goods.

Whether you’re shopping for cologne, a high-end watch, a T-shirt, etc., there is a significant likelihood that you’ll come across fake goods. 

This means you can end up paying a high amount for something you initially thought was precious but a low-quality product.

Unfortunately, vendors on the platform are skilled at misleading customers by making their fake goods appear authentic. This can make it difficult to tell the difference between a real bargain and a scam.

How to Protect Yourself

It’s a good idea to research possible counterfeits to protect yourself. Consult online forums like Reddit for advice, review Facebook comments for any cautions, and trust your gut. A deal that usually seems too good to be true is. 

For example, it’s very likely a fake product if someone offers to sell you a brand-new Gucci handbag for $3,500 for only $200.

6. Moving Conversations Off of Facebook

Be careful when a seller or a buyer asks you to move your conversation to a different platform. If something goes wrong, this strategy can leave you without any proof. So, it’s essential to use Facebook for every communication.

Some scammers might ask you to send money using Venmo or Zelle. Avoid falling for this, and always use safe payment options like PayPal or Facebook Checkout. 

With these options, you can get your money back in case of a scam and ask customer service for a refund. Also, you can ask Facebook for help by directly reporting any issues you might have.

Also Read: How Does Off-Facebook Activity Work, and Is it Really Useful? 

7. Rental Scams

Rental scams are one of the Facebook Marketplace scams to be careful of. A growing number of people are becoming victims of rental scams.

These scammers create false rental postings for various things, including houses, boats, bicycles, etc. The scammers demand money upfront or a deposit from the victim to reserve the rental.

This is exactly what happened to Stefana Vella. A friend sent her a link to a Facebook Marketplace ad for a three-bedroom house for rent at $950. She quickly jumped on it since she was urgently searching for a place to rent. 

After sending her bank statements and references, the scammer told Vella she was perfect for the property. However, the scammer wanted her to put down a deposit to secure the property, with the bond listed at $3800. 

Luckily, Vella became suspicious when she asked to see the property. But the scammer threatened her that she’d lose the chance if she didn’t make the deposit. 

Eventually, she checked the property and confirmed it was a scam. We generally advise against rent offers on Facebook Marketplace. However, use the below tips to safeguard yourself: 

How to Prevent Rent Scams

Be cautious if a rental seems much less expensive than typical. Prices that seem too low to be true often indicate a scam. Investigate local rental rates regularly to determine whether they are legitimate or not.

Also, always inspect the equipment or property in person before making any payments, just like Stefana Vella did. This ensures that the rental is legitimate and doesn’t have any issues. 

Before you view the rental, scammers usually demand advance wire transfers or cash payments. Make payments once you confirm the tenant and the rental item or property. 

Cash payments are harder to track, which makes filing complaints harder.

Also Read: Stay Safe Online: The Best Ways to Store Passwords 

How to Report Scams on Facebook Marketplace

It’s crucial to stop communicating with the buyer or seller if you think you’re dealing with a scam on Facebook Marketplace and to notify Facebook as soon as possible.

Here’s how to report scams on Facebook: 

  • Open the listing.
  • Click the three-dot menu located to the right of the “Share” button.
  • Select “Report listing” from the dropdown menu. 

You can also report a possible buyer to Facebook if you have an ad and they appear to be a scammer:

  • Look for the “Seller Information” module on the right side of the listing.
  • By placing your cursor on the seller’s name, you can choose “Report.”
  • Select “Scam” To report a scam and follow the on-screen directions.

You can find more information on Facebook’s platform if you need more help or customer support.

Protect Your Personal Information after Filling a Report

It’s critical to take additional precautions to protect your personal information and financial accounts once you’ve reported the Facebook Marketplace scams.

Review your credit reports: You are entitled to a free annual credit report check. Look for any unusual details that can point to identity theft.

Recheck your bank statements: Verify that scammers didn’t use your credit or debit card fraudulently. Contact your bank right away if you see any questionable transactions.

Consider registering for identity theft protection: Your information may still be at risk even if scammers don’t act immediately. Identity theft protection services can help you continuously monitor your identity, credit reports, and bank accounts. Some services even monitor your social media accounts, which can be particularly helpful if you’re worried about the security of your Facebook account.


Scammers are an issue on many online marketplaces, and Facebook Marketplace is no exception. There are a few crucial things to remember when using this platform to safeguard yourself from Facebook Marketplace scams.

It’s best to keep all conversations within Facebook’s message system. Don’t give personal contact information or move conversations to other platforms.

Also, be careful of buyers or sellers who have recently formed accounts or make unusual transaction requests. Be vigilant and issue a red flag for any new or questionable profiles.


Are There Any Tools Or Apps That Can Help Me Stay Safe on Facebook Marketplace?

Yes. Some tools and applications can help you stay safe on Facebook Marketplace. The option to report suspect listings or people is only one of Facebook’s many safety features. The Messenger app can securely communicate with prospective buyers or sellers without disclosing your personal contact information.

It’s a good idea to look up the seller’s profile and read customer feedback. Also, some independent applications and websites offer extra vendor details to help you make a better decision.

Can I Get a Refund If I Fall Victim to a Scam on Facebook Marketplace?

It can be difficult to secure a refund if you become a victim of fraud on Facebook Marketplace. But it’s not impossible. Take screenshots of the listing, messages, and money receipts to start recording your interaction with the con artist. After that, notify Facebook and give them the supporting documentation you’ve obtained.

Then, raise a chargeback dispute with your payment processor, such as your credit card company. While a refund isn’t guaranteed, following these instructions improves your chances of getting your money back. However, it’s always best to be vigilant and cautious.

How Can I Verify the Authenticity of a Product Before Purchasing it on Facebook Marketplace?

Confirm the item’s authenticity before purchasing on Facebook Marketplace to prevent fraud. Search for comparable products online to compare features and costs. Search engines can also be used to see if the seller’s offered product photographs appear elsewhere online, which may indicate probable fraud.

Meet the seller in a public and secure area to inspect the goods before paying. These safety measures can contribute to a more positive and secure shopping experience on Facebook Marketplace.