Have you ever tried to sell something online with Facebook Marketplace?

by Lorraine Williamson
sell something online with Facebook Marketplace

InSpain.News regularly brings you information on various scams that are going around. Now we look at one where you might be trying to sell something online.

Today, one of our editors attempted to sell something for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Within minutes there were several responses. This all seemed very positive, until she investigated it further…

All but one of the respondents messaged almost the same thing. They all said they wanted to buy but would send a courier to collect who would pay cash on arrival.

What to look out for when you sell something online

This may sound like perfect solution, but there is a catch! Here is what it is.

According to thatsnonsense.com, “while marketplaces such as eBay have evolved to have strict protocols in place to protect their users against scammers (that’s not to say eBay is completely scam-free, of course!), other marketplaces such as the Facebook Marketplace and websites like Gumtree are still great targets for scammers”.

They continued, “One such scam targeting sellers on these marketplaces is the ‘UPS Delivery’ scam, alternatively known as the Courier/Mailman scam”.

So, how does the scam work?

As soon as the seller posts an item for sale, the scammer sends a message pretending to be a potential buyer. They say they are interested and happy to pay the full price. However, once you confirm, they may send you and unusual request.

Instead of the more frequently used payment methods, such as PayPal or cash on arrival, the buyer says they’ll send the seller the payment in cash but using a courier service. This can be any random courier.

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What have you got to lose?

Given the many ways we can make online payments, requesting a courier service to deliver an envelope full of cash to the seller may seem like an odd choice. However, if that is what they say, then you might believe it. What have you got to lose?

So, once you agree to the unusual payment method, they “buyer” will ask for your name, address, and email address. Once they get that information, the “buyer” then goes in with the full scam. They claim that while they’ve paid the shipping fee to the courier service, it is the seller that must pay some type of ‘insurance cost’ to the courier. However, the buyer explains that because the courier is shipping cold hard cash, an insurance payment is required.


But don’t worry, says the “buyer”. They will add those “insurance costs” to the money they put in the envelope, so you won’t be out of pocket.

In the meantime, the seller receives an email that appears to be from the courier company asking for the insurance costs so the courier company can make the delivery.

However, this is all a complete scam! It is a phishing email that will take you to a fake website to ask for payment for the insurance. Once this happens, they will steal your bank details and personal information.

Aside from this, there is no courier company coming to your house with an envelope full of money to pay for your items.

Do not be caught out!

Also read: Online banking scam

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