Skip to content

5 Red Flags to Watch for in Latest Facebook Scam

Here are a few things to look out for when shopping on the online marketplace. 

Facebook Marketplace is a great resource for finding great deals on everything from furniture and clothing to cars and housing. However, due to the fact that it's nearly impossible to regulate every single posting and poster, there are lots of scams that go down. How can you avoid being scammed on Facebook Marketplace? Fox News put together a list of red flags to look out for. 

The Person's Facebook Profile Looks Suspect

Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

One of the greatest things about Facebook Marketplace is that someone has to have a profile to sell on it. Before buying anything, you should always look at it to ensure there is nothing suspect. "A big red flag proving that someone could be a scammer is if they don't have many friends, pictures, or posts on their profile page," they say. "You should also check to see if this person has recently joined Facebook or if they've been on the platform for a while. The longer the profile has been up and the more posts the person has, the more likely it is to be a real person and not a scammer." Other information to look for is inconsistencies about where they live or other personal details. 

You Are Asked to Pay with a Gift Card


If someone asks you to pay for an item with a gift card, that should be a red flag. "The reason they want people to pay with gift cards is that gift cards are not traceable. If you pay someone in the form of a gift card and then later find out it's a scam, it is nearly impossible for a bank or credit card company to help you get that money back," they say. 

The Exact Same Item Is Being Sold in Various Parts of the Country

facebook app on smartphone
Jirapong Manustrong / Shutterstock

Search for the same item in various parts of the country. Scammers often list items, including real estate, pets, or cars, in several places and in multiple posts. If you find this, report it to Facebook ASAP. 

The Seller Has "A Story"

Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night. Closeup of hands with computer laptop in background

If the seller is telling you a sad story and going out of their way to gain your trust or sympathy, consider that a red flag. "When someone appears to be in distress or facing a challenging situation, our natural inclination is to help and support them. This sympathetic response can lower your guard and make you more susceptible to the scammer's ploy," they say. 

Creating a Sense of Urgency

woman looks at laptop in shock

Take caution if a seller claims to need the money and pressures you to pay up fast. "The scammer might claim he needs to sell the item quickly due to financial difficulties or impending relocation. This urgency can prompt you to make rushed decisions without properly verifying the authenticity of the situation or the legitimacy of the offer," they say. 

Filed Under
 •  •