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Scams And Fraud On Facebook

by Hello


Posted on July 11th , 2019 at 3:00 PM



Today’s virtual barriers have been blurred after Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter became integral parts of our lives. Somehow, we’ve all become attached to our cellphones and the online world.

Facebook started off as a communication platform, and is now a social hub where individuals can do anything and everything. Most importantly, Facebook is now a moneymaking machine: You can literally sell almost everything on it; all it takes is one post. It’s great to be able to sell something so easily, but our moms were right when they told us never trust strangers online, because you’re going to need to stay safe.

With the usage of social networks comes the sacrifice of privacy. Most of us are already aware that when signing up for a social network, you are sacrificing personal information that can be used against you. It’s true that you can hide these things from your profile, but there are still so many ways in which your private info can be given up.

It’s because of this that we need to be careful in how we glide through the virtual world. Sellers and buyers are at an even larger risk than the rest of Facebook’s population, since they will engage in more intimate forms of interaction in order to close a deal.

One minute they’re meeting in person to crack a deal, and the next thing you know the whole story has ended up on TV because the buyer knocked the seller out and stole the car. So sellers and buyers, this is how you can avoid being beaten, robbed, and hurt when all you wanted to do was to sell your blender.


1-The buyer/seller's profile


You could easily be fooled by someone posing behind a fake profile. They’re all over Facebook, and can sometimes even pose as someone you know. It’s a risk trusting without giving the person a background check, so always be sure to check them out. If they have a picture of a rose as a profile picture, they’re surely fake. No one likes roses that much.

Stalking online here is acceptable, for safety purposes! Go on to their profile and see their latest posts, pictures, and activity. If it’s a complete stranger, also check them out on other social networks like Instagram and Twitter. Never, ever trust someone without checking them out. Ask yourself these questions:


  • • Are they active on social media? Do they have enough online content that helps you verify their existence?
  • • Do they live near you or have any mutual friends? If so, ask around.
  • • Search their profile picture. If it easily pops up on google search as someone else, you know they’re not who they say they are.
  • • How many friends do they have on Facebook? Do those friends have weird profiles as well?

If they're shady, it'll be more obvious than fireworks on the fourth of July.



2-The exchange


If you’re a seller or a buyer, you’re going to have to meet up with your customer at some point to give or receive your product. Now, the mildly horrible scam would be that they don’t show you up and you lose the business, but what’s worse is that they could potentially assault you. Scary, but it’s a fact.

It’s always a good idea to set up the meeting at a public space, so arrange for the meeting to be there primarily. Don’t wear any jewelry or carry anything of value, so that if you do get robbed, it won’t be in something you’ve wasted a fortune on (It’s okay if you lose your favorite pair of sweatpants).

Additionally, have them prepare a brief description of themselves before you meet. Before the encounter, give your friends and family a notice that it’s happening, and include the description of the person you are meeting with. If anything goes wrong, they will be fully aware. It’s also recommended to wear running shoes, in case you need to make a run for it. This is beginning to sound a lot like a movie script, but hey, movies are inspired by real life.



3-Be prepared


There are somethings you just cannot take out of your house to sell, like a dining table set or chairs (unless you’re the Hulk, or Thor). If you’re a seller, the buyer is required to come to your house, and if you’re a buyer, then vice versa. This leaves room for a number of things that could go wrong, the worst being assault and robbery.

It’s absolutely mandatory that you take a few precautions to prevent any type of harm. Here are a few:


  • • Have someone be there with you when the exchange takes place. If no one can be there, keep someone on the phone and pretend that they will arrive shortly. This warns the seller/buyer that you are prepared if anything happens.
  • • Have the police’s number ready on speed dial.
  • • Write down their license plate number if you can.
  • • Buyers, take pictures of the house, and sellers, take pictures of the buyer.


4-The price


Many sellers/buyers are unaware of the true value of their product. Most individuals only ever estimate the price, which means they could be subject to loss. Go on Amazon or eBay, or ask around to figure out the true value of your product. Be sure to see if the defects and damages on the product (if there are any) lower the price.


For sellers:


If you set the price for less than it is worth, you will lose money. There are many, many buyers out there who look for new sellers that don’t really know the value of their product. These people are sharks just waiting to sink their teeth into your naivety. If you set the price for more than it’s worth, you might encounter an angry bunch of buyers outraged that you’re asking for more. This will make you look bad.


For buyers


There are several sellers who hunt down desperate buyers to take their money. You must recognize when the product is wrongly priced and openly negotiate it with the seller. You could so easily lose money if you don’t do these simple steps.



5-The quality of the product (for buyers only)


Sometimes, sellers are con artists that will trick you into thinking that the product they’re selling is of great condition and quality, when really, it’s in an extremely poor state.

It’s important you meet with them initially before making any hasty decisions. Inspect the product beforehand, and inform the seller of the decision you make. Try and negotiate the price if you feel it has been unfairly priced, and is less than it is worth. Don’t hesitate to let them know.



References:


http://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/facebook-marketplace-safety/

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-protect-yourself-when-using-facebook-marketplace



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