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Experts warn of Facebook scam which will steal your money in seconds

Experts warn of Facebook scam which will steal your money in seconds

Facebook Marketplace could be a breeding ground for scammers, experts say.

Online shopping has never been easier - all you have to do is tap a few buttons and basically whatever you want will arrive on your doorstep the next day.

It's brilliant - but also comes with an increased risk of scams, because people will always try to make off with your money one way or another.

A new blog post from cybersecurity provider Keeper has taken the lid off how many scams work on Facebook Marketplace, offering up some tips that could help you avoid being burnt.

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Apparently, there are three typical scams on Marketplace that catch a lot of people out: firstly, 'bait-and-switch' scams, where a bargain-priced listing that isn't real lures people in, before the seller removes it and tries to persuade you to buy a worse-priced item instead.

Next up is any listing or seller that asks you to pay a deposit on an item - this system doesn't exist officially in Marketplace, so it's almost certainly a red flag if you get asked for one.

Finally, any seller that asks you to pay them in the form of pre-paid gift cards should also send up massive warning signs, the blog says. These cards are untraceable once they're traded, so you won't be able to chase them down when they disappear after failing to actually send you the product that they probably never had in the first place.

Any of the three of these could potentially cost you masses of money - and if the item you're trying to buy is an expensive one, it could be pretty ruinous, frankly.

Thankfully, Keeper has also provided some simple tips to help you avoid being scammed - even when you know about those tactics.

It says you should try to make all Marketplace purchases through the in-service payment method, on a credit card - this is your best bet for being able to get your money back one way or another should you need to, with a credit charge-back as your last resort. PayPal is seemingly also a good way to go.

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Another tip is to make sure that you properly check the seller's record and reviews on previous sales if there are any - these reviews could save you from some future angst.

Apparently getting the item shipped to you can also open you up to delivery scams and failures to send things - if you can meet the seller in a safe public space for an in-person collection, this is a good way to ensure the item really exists.

Finally, you should make sure to only message the seller on Facebook Marketplace directly. Don't accept invitations to other platforms or give them any personal details - all of these could start you on the path toward a more sophisticated scam.

Hopefully, with all of that information in your locker, you should be better placed to shop for bargains on Facebook Marketplace without having to worry that you could be taken advantage of.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / Westend61 / Getty