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Scammed on Facebook Marketplace? Watch this shocking video!

Published on: November 17 2023 by Cookie & The Hayden’s - UK eBay Reseller

Scammed on Facebook Marketplace? Watch this shocking video!

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background Story
  3. The Scammed Deal
  4. Initial Suspicion
  5. Phone Call Investigation
  6. Blocked and Ghosted
  7. Reporting the Scam
  8. Actions Taken
  9. Lessons Learned
  10. Conclusion

Introduction

In today's article, I want to share a personal experience that serves as a cautionary tale for everyone using online marketplaces. It's a story about how I fell victim to a scam on Facebook Marketplace and lost £280. I'll take you through the entire incident step by step, explaining what happened and what I have done since. This is not a clickbait title, it's a true story that highlights the importance of being cautious and vigilant when making online transactions. So, let's dive into the details of this unfortunate event.

Background Story

I have been actively involved in online trading, buying, and selling items on various platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and others. These experiences have been mostly positive, with successful transactions and satisfied customers. Perhaps due to this streak of successful deals, I became somewhat complacent, which ultimately played a role in the scam I encountered.

The Scammed Deal

On the 28th of February this year, I came across a seller on Facebook Marketplace who was offering high-quality tote boxes at a reasonable price. These boxes were exactly what I needed to revamp my stockroom, replacing the old and worn-out ones. The seller, named Peter, seemed legitimate, with a profile filled with different listings and interactions with customers. After discussing the details and agreeing on the price, I made a bank transfer of £280 for 40 boxes to be shipped on a pallet the next day.

Initial Suspicion

However, the next day came, and the seller had not shipped the boxes as promised. I reached out to him via Facebook Messenger, expressing my concern and inquiring about the shipment's status. To my surprise, he replied, apologizing for missing the shipping deadline and assuring me that it would be sent out the following day. Unfortunately, that was the last I heard from him.

Phone Call Investigation

Concerned about the lack of communication, I decided to investigate further. I browsed through his Facebook posts and messages with other customers, taking screenshots for future reference. In one of the messages, I found a mobile number that he had shared with a potential customer. I took a chance and called that number, hoping to get some answers. During the call, Peter sounded plausible, mentioning that he had multiple orders and would check on mine. However, he never called me back as promised, and when I texted him later, his phone changed from iMessage (bluebox) to SMS (green box), indicating that he likely blocked me.

Blocked and Ghosted

Realizing that I had been possibly scammed, I sent another message to Peter, urging him to update me on the situation or refund the money if he couldn't fulfill the order. Yet again, he chose not to reply. I also attempted to report him on Facebook, but he had already blocked me, making it impossible to initiate a transaction dispute. This flaw in the Facebook Marketplace system allowed scammers to easily evade accountability.

Reporting the Scam

Faced with no other option, I decided to take action against this fraudulent act. I reported the incident to Action Fraud, the department of the police service responsible for handling online scams and fraud. Providing them with a detailed report and obtaining a crime number was crucial in establishing the legitimacy of my case. I then contacted my bank, providing them with the same information and requesting an investigation into the fraudulent transaction.

Actions Taken

At this point, I must emphasize that the chances of recovering the money are slim. Nevertheless, I took the necessary steps to ensure that the incident was officially reported and investigated. By obtaining a crime number, it adds credibility to the case when dealing with banks and other organizations involved. Although I don't have high hopes of getting my money back, it is important to exhaust all possible avenues in combating such scams.

Lessons Learned

This unfortunate experience has taught me several valuable lessons that I want to share with you. First and foremost, it is crucial to be cautious and attentive when engaging in online transactions, particularly on platforms without the safety protocols of reputed sites like eBay. I also realize the importance of using secure payment methods, such as PayPal, that offer buyer protection. Additionally, performing basic checks on the seller's legitimacy, such as acquiring address details, can provide an extra layer of security.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this incident serves as a reminder that anyone can fall victim to online scams. The ease of sending money blind without proper verification and safeguards makes us all susceptible. Through sharing my story, I hope to raise awareness and encourage everyone to exercise caution and skepticism when engaging in online transactions. Please remember, always conduct thorough checks, use secure payment methods, and report any fraudulent activity promptly to protect yourself and others.

Highlights:

  • The cautionary tale of a £280 scam on Facebook Marketplace.
  • Personal experiences highlight the importance of caution in online transactions.
  • Steps taken to report the scam to the police and the bank.
  • Lessons learned and advice for others to avoid falling victim to scams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did you initially come across the seller on Facebook Marketplace? A: I stumbled upon the seller while browsing through listings on Facebook Marketplace. The high-quality tote boxes he offered caught my attention.

Q: What payment method did you use for the transaction? A: I made a bank transfer of £280 to the seller for the purchase of 40 boxes. Unfortunately, this left me with limited options for recovering the money compared to using secure payment platforms like PayPal.

Q: Did you receive any response from the seller after reporting the incident to the police and the bank? A: No, the seller did not respond to my messages or take any initiative to resolve the situation. In fact, he blocked me on Facebook, making it impossible to report him directly within the conversation.

Q: What actions should I take if I become a victim of online scams? A: If you fall victim to an online scam, it is important to report the incident immediately to the police, gather as much evidence as possible, and contact your bank to investigate the fraudulent transaction. Obtaining a crime number from the police adds credibility to your case.

Q: How can I protect myself from online scams on platforms like Facebook Marketplace? A: To protect yourself, always exercise caution and vigilance when engaging in online transactions. Perform thorough checks on the seller's legitimacy, ask for additional information like their address, and use secure payment methods whenever possible.

Q: Is there a possibility of recovering the lost money in such scams? A: While the chances of recovering the money are usually slim, it is essential to report the incident to the police and the bank to establish a record. However, it is crucial to be prepared for the possibility of not getting the money back.

Q: What should I watch out for when using online marketplaces? A: When using online marketplaces, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true or sellers who exhibit suspicious behavior. Trust your instincts and take the necessary precautions, such as researching the seller, reading reviews, and using secure payment methods.

Q: How common are online scams on platforms like Facebook Marketplace? A: Online scams can occur on any platform, including Facebook Marketplace. While the exact prevalence is challenging to measure, it is important to remain cautious and be aware of potential risks when engaging in online transactions.

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