Facebook Marketplace logo on smartphone display
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
May 17, 2024 ·  4 min read

7 Signs You’re Getting Scammed on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has revolutionized buying and selling online, offering a convenient platform for transactions of all sorts. However, with popularity comes risk, especially in the form of scams. Let’s take a quick look at potential red flags and warning signs to watch out for when it comes to scams.

Suspiciously Low Prices/Deals

buy one get one free sale sign - a paper price tag against rustic red painted barn wood - shopping concept
Source: Shutterstock

One of the most common signs of a scam on Facebook Marketplace is finding a listing with the price too good to be true.1 Scammers often lure people in by offering high-demand items at unbelievably low prices. According to experts, if an item is significantly underpriced, it’s likely a scam. Jennifer Beck, the founder of Saved By Design, advises buyers to scrutinize a seller’s profile to see if the seller is legitimate. If there are multiple listings of the same item, lack ratings, or have a profile created in the current year, it’s likely a scam.

Read More: Hidden Cameras Catch a Scam that is Happening in Grocery Stores Around the Country

Payment Requests Before Receiving the Item

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A huge red flag is when the seller requests payment before the buyer receives the item. Scammers like to pressure buyers into making upfront payments or getting deposits to “secure a purchase,” only to then disappear with the money without ever delivering the product. 

Make sure you never to agree to pay for an item before you receive it, this is a scam. Buyers should insist on having transactions done in person and not paying until after the item has been seen. 

Lack of Transparency

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Another Facebook Marketplace scam to watch for is vagueness in a listing, particularly in an item description or in photos.2 Scammers often give insufficient information about the product to mask a lack of authenticity or quality to the buyer. If you encounter a listing with an incomplete product description or any low-quality photos, ask for clearer photos immediately or walk away. It’s always important to communicate with the seller, but if they’re maintaining their shake’s legitimacy, it won’t end well for you.

Using Unconventional Payment Methods

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Scammers often try to use gift cards or wire transfers instead of cash or e-transfer options. PayPal or Venmo are also very common, legitimate ways to go, but not wire transfers. If the seller is insisting on alternative payment methods, you should be skeptical, as it is often associated with fraud. If there are no buyer protection or verification processes, do not agree to use the platform. Insist on secure payment options to avoid scams on Facebook Marketplace.

Read More: ‘I Don’t Want To Hear It,’ Says Woman Whose Friends And Family Believe Her Online ‘Boyfriend’ Is A Scammer

Safe/In-Person Transactions

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Refusing to meet in person or to conduct a transaction in a safe, public setting is a big red flag for any online selling, not just Facebook Marketplace. Sellers avoiding face-to-face interaction or insisting on having a private meeting raise suspicions not only about their legitimacy but also their intentions. Jennifer Beck advises buyers to prioritize their safety over the sale and exercise caution when arranging meetup locations.3

Requests for Personal Information and Verification Codes

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Scammers may also try to get personal information or verification codes from you under the guise of verifying who they are. These requests are usually part of a larger scheme to get access to your accounts or steal your identity. Buyers should remain vigilant and only discuss the transaction itself; that’s why you’re on Facebook Marketplace anyway, right?

Legitimate sellers never require personal information or any verification code during the sale. Any request for such information should be treated as a red flag and a scam.

Inconsistent or Suspicious Seller Profiles

Facebook, Inc. is an American-based company offering online social media and social media services based in Menlo Park, California United States, New York. July 2, 2020
Source: Shutterstock

Lastly, buyers should take a look at the seller’s profile for any inconsistencies or suspicious indicators of fraud. Profiles with limited to no information, multiple listings of the same item in different locations, or a lack of/strange engagement with buyers (think “automated responses”) should raise concerns about their legitimacy. Jennifer Beck advises buyers to be thorough when examining seller profiles to evaluate their credibility.


Credit: Pixabay

If you’re vigilant and attentive, you should be able to avoid scams on Facebook Marketplace. Always prioritize your safety and verify the listing, the seller, and the sales method when running through the transaction process.

Navigating Facebook Marketplace can be fun and convenient, but we should be mindful of how to enjoy the convenience of online shopping without falling prey to scams and deceitful practices.

Read More: Buffet Chains Are Scamming You. Here’s 5 Things to Look Out For.


  1. 10 common Facebook Marketplace scams, and how to avoid and report them.” Business Insider. Dave Johnson. August 21, 2023.
  2. Six Signs You’re Getting Scammed on Facebook Marketplace.” AOL. Kelsey Mulvey. May 9, 2024
  3. How to Avoid Being Scammed on Facebook Marketplace.” Propublica. Craig Silverman, Chris Morran and Maya Eliahou. September 22, 2021.