Scammers are popping up on Facebook Marketplace trying to sucker Aussies into parting with thousands of dollars.
In one example of how it works, a dad-of-three was attempting to sell a drum kit on the popular site, but instead found himself dealing with a scammer.
After creating the post, the NSW resident received a message from someone who claimed they were interested in purchasing the item for $750.
This is when the scammer got to work, claiming their sister would have to pick up the drum kit but they would like to pay for the item now via PayID because their sister didn’t “have a bank” to make the payment in cash on the day.
“My sister will come over the [sic] pick it up herself cause I’m not I’m not [sic] available,” the scammer said.
“Do you have PayID so I can make the payment now.”
After the dad sent his PayID information the scammer claimed there was an issue with the transfer and said they needed the seller's email address, “just to make sure the money is sent to the right account”.
The scammer then asked the potential victim to check their email and claimed they had sent the $750.
But of course the $750 wasn’t in the account, and the scammer then went on to make a convoluted argument as to why the seller needed to send them $1,250.
“That account isn’t business so you can't get credited so I am required to send in an additional payment of $1,250 to expand your account,” the scammer claimed.
“Can I trust that once I send the additional payment you’ll refund me back immediately?
“Can I have your word that one [sic] I send the additional payment of $1,250 for the expansion you get to refund me back immediately?”
After claiming they had sent the $1,250 payment, on top of already claiming to have sent the $750 for the drum kit, the scammer insisted the $1,250 payment must be returned to them.
But of course, no money had been sent at all and it was just an elaborate ruse.
“You don’t have anything to worry about, it’s a normal process, I have been deducted and this transaction is highly secured by PayID,” the scammer went on to claim.
“No one will lose there [sic] money. Me and you will be secured.”
Luckily, the seller did not fall for the trick despite the scammer making numerous attempts to continue contacting him.
Warning signs of the Facebook Marketplace scam
Yahoo Finance understands from hearing many similar stories the telltale signs of the scam start from the alleged buyer claiming they will need to send someone else to pick up the item.
The second red flag is when they claim they have made the payment, but it hasn't gone through because your account requires an upgrade.
The scammers will try to claim they have paid for the account upgrade for you, and once you return the money to them the original money for the item will appear in your account.
If you are approached on Facebook Marketplace, be on the lookout for these red flags to avoid getting caught out. Never give your personal bank or account information to anyone.