Since its 2016 launch, Facebook Marketplace has hit 1 billion users, becoming a go-to online bazaar to buy and sell goods and services. Nevertheless, regular honest users are not the only ones cashing in.
The popularity of Facebook Marketplace has attracted numerous digital miscreants and criminals seeking to exploit unsuspecting shoppers.
A 2022 survey revealed that nearly a quarter of UK users have been scammed while using the marketplace, with most victims saying they were either approached by a fake profile or persuaded to pay in advance for items that had never arrived.
A 2021 investigation into criminal practices on Facebook Marketplace paints a more gruesome picture of threats to users’ privacy and even physical safety. Fake accounts and obvious scam listings were the least of the concerns of investigators, who found several violent crimes committed by shady individuals who exploited the Marketplace since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When online, you never really know whom you can trust, and this applies to sellers on Facebook Marketplace. While most victims of Marketplace scams on the platforms report losing money, fraudsters could also use the platform as an opportunity to steal personal info that can be used in additional scams or identity theft crimes.
The next time you feel like browsing for items on the platform, look for these telltale signs of a Marketplace scam:
Scammers prey on unwary internet users to steal personal information, money or goods. With Bitdefender security and privacy solutions, you can stay on top of fraud and protect against social media impersonators who can ruin your online reputation or get you into legal problems.
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