5 Common Facebook Marketplace Scams and How to Avoid Them

In the age of online transactions and virtual marketplaces, Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular platform for buying and selling goods locally. However, with its increasing popularity, the risk of falling victim to scams has also risen. To help you navigate the digital marketplace safely, we’ve compiled a list of five common Facebook Marketplace scams and provided answers to frequently asked questions on how to avoid them.

1. The Overpayment Scam


Q1: What is the overpayment scam?

A1: The overpayment scam involves a buyer sending more money than the agreed-upon price, often accompanied by a convincing excuse. The scammer then requests the seller to refund the excess amount, only for the initial payment to bounce.

Q2: How can I avoid falling for the overpayment scam?

A2: Always double-check the payment received before completing the transaction. Refuse any requests for overpayment or refunds outside the official transaction channels.

Q3: What should I do if I suspect an overpayment scam?

A3: Report the user to Facebook Marketplace and cease communication immediately. Refrain from refunding any money until you’ve confirmed the legitimacy of the transaction.

2. Nonexistent Merchandise Scam


Q1: How does the nonexistent merchandise scam work?

A1: Scammers create fake listings for products that don’t exist. Once a buyer makes a payment, the scammer disappears, leaving the victim without the purchased item.

Q2: How can I avoid falling for nonexistent merchandise scams?

A2: Research the seller’s profile and reviews. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Meet the seller in a public place to inspect the item before making any payments.

Q3: What steps should I take if I encounter a nonexistent merchandise scam?

A3: Report the fraudulent listing to Facebook and provide details of your interaction with the scammer. Always exercise caution and prioritize safety when making transactions.

3. Phishing Scams


Q1: What is a phishing scam on Facebook Marketplace?

A1: Phishing scams involve fake links or websites that imitate Facebook or the Marketplace. Users may unknowingly provide sensitive information, such as login credentials or payment details, to scammers.

Q2: How can I recognize and avoid phishing scams?

A2: Be cautious of unsolicited messages with suspicious links. Always verify the legitimacy of a link before clicking on it. Facebook will never ask for sensitive information through messages.

Q3: What should I do if I’ve fallen victim to a phishing scam?

A3: Change your Facebook password immediately and enable two-factor authentication. Report the phishing attempt to Facebook, and monitor your accounts for any unauthorized activities.

4. Delivery Fee Scam


Q1: How does the delivery fee scam work?

A1: Scammers posing as sellers request an additional payment for shipping or delivery fees. Once the fee is paid, the scammer disappears, and the promised item is never sent.

Q2: How can I avoid being a victim of the delivery fee scam?

A2: Always clarify shipping costs before finalizing a deal. Use reputable payment methods that offer buyer protection, and be skeptical of sellers who insist on unconventional payment methods.

Q3: What actions should I take if I’ve encountered a delivery fee scam?

A3: Report the scam to Facebook and, if applicable, the payment platform used. Refrain from making any additional payments and cease communication with the scammer.

5. Identity Theft Scams


Q1: What is an identity theft scam on Facebook Marketplace?

A1: Scammers may use fake profiles to gather personal information from users, posing as legitimate sellers or buyers. This information can be used for identity theft or other malicious activities.

Q2: How can I protect myself from identity theft scams?

A2: Avoid sharing unnecessary personal information on your Facebook profile. Verify the identity of the person you’re dealing with and be cautious about providing sensitive details, such as your address or financial information.

Q3: What should I do if I suspect an identity theft attempt?

A3: Report the suspicious activity to Facebook immediately. Review your privacy settings on the platform and consider adjusting them to limit the information visible to others. Monitor your accounts for any signs of unauthorized access.


As Facebook Marketplace continues to be a thriving hub for buying and selling, staying vigilant is crucial to avoiding scams. By familiarizing yourself with these common scams and following the provided guidelines, you can enhance your safety and ensure a secure and enjoyable experience on the platform. Always prioritize caution, verify user identities, and report any suspicious activity to help create a safer digital marketplace for everyone.

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