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Urgent ‘danger’ warning for millions of Facebook users – beware these ‘red flags’

Urgent ‘danger’ warning for millions of Facebook users – beware these ‘red flags’

CYBER scammers are targeting folks on the lookout for a second-hand bargain online.

The cost of living crisis has pushed many to turn to the likes of Facebook Marketplace and Ebay for cheaper ‘new’ clothes, furniture and electronics.


Facebook Marketplace can be accessed through its smartphone app

But cybersecurity experts at VPNOverview have urged online bargain hunters to watch out for scammers lurking on second-hand shopping sites.

Scams on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Vinted and Depop are on the rise, say experts.

Luckily, there are a few tell tale signs that marketplace users are interacting with a ‘dodgy’ seller or buyer.

Sellers asking you to send money via PayPal’s ‘family and friends’ transfer is a sure-fire for your payment to not be protected under Ebay or Depop’s guarantees.

While scammers may use the site’s added-on fees as an excuse to bypass the app, online marketplaces have rules in place to protect people’s funds, in case users buy something and it never arrives.

These rules include buying through the site directly.

“It’s unlikely you’ll ever get your item, and worse, PayPal will not support buyers if they’ve bought an item using this form of transfer,” experts warned.

Suspicious buyers may also ask sellers to pay via bank transfer or cheque – but don’t be fooled.

The funds can be charged back to them after they’ve received the item.

A buyer offering more than you asked for is also a cause for concern.

“It’s often a way to blindside you and draw you into a planned scam,” experts added.

And sometimes a deal is too good to be true.

Under-priced but high-value items are “usually counterfeit”, say experts.

“You’ll be wasting your money if you think you’re getting the real thing,” they said.

High-value and designer items will usually have proof of authenticity, be it a card or tag inside an item of clothing, which an honest seller should gladly share an image of.

The cyber specialists also cautioned against somebody trying to take the conversation out of the website.

The marketplace will be able to track and record all in-app discussions – which may be needed as evidence if a user is scammed.

Lastly, sellers must always post their item to the buyer’s in-app registered address and reject requests to send the item to another address.

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“A common Depop scam right now involves a third person,” experts said.

“You post the item to a friend of the scammer, then they open an “item not received” dispute, usually winning, and keeping both the item and their money.”

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