UGA parents’ group identifies Facebook Marketplace scam
Most Facebook Marketplace scams are easy to spot but in this case, scammers hacked into a real user’s profile and locked her out.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A University of Georgia parent says a furniture listing on the UGA Parents Group is fraudulent.
“The Venmo they wanted me to send the money to had no transactions, no comments allowed on the post and other stuff,” the parent posted.
Another UGA parent said she sent the fraudulent seller $600.
Most Facebook Marketplace scams are easy to spot because the seller’s profile has no information, but in this case, scammers hacked into a real user’s profile - belonging to Kim Pace Hinely - and locked her out.
The Facebook Marketplace furniture listing appears on several group pages, and Atlanta News First Investigates identified one of the items also for sale in three Nigerian cities. A Google reverse image search found another furniture item on a Facebook lingerie page.
Hinely’s husband said his wife is frustrated and cannot get Facebook to restore her account.
When Atlanta News First Consumer Investigator Better Call Harry messaged Hinely’s account about the furniture, the fraudulent seller negotiated a price and asked him to send, via Zelle, a $150 deposit.
A Facebook spokesperson said the social media giant has flagged the account and will contact Hinely.
“Oftentimes a Facebook account compromise starts with an email account that is compromised,” said Facebook spokesperson Grant Klinzman.
The Big Takeaways:
- Do not use a peer-to-peer app to pay anyone you do not know.
- Negotiate a price and do not make a payment until you’ve inspected the item you are purchasing.
- Always pay in person.
- If you are suspicious about the seller, ask to speak by phone.
- If the seller asks where you live, find out their location first. If a fraudulent seller knows where you live, they sometimes find a random address nearby to make the sale seem legit.
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- Think twice about clicking ‘I agree’ before using apps, websites
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