SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With over a billion daily active users this year, Facebook continues to be one of the largest social media networks, and Facebook Marketplace, is a way of life for many buyers and sellers of new and used items.
However, with the significant increase of daily transactions on the forum, Facebook Marketplace scams are the number one fastest growing scam of this year and grew 184.8% the past year, according to a yearend review analysis by Been Verified.
The analysis reveals that many of the instances involved sellers who reported losing products to scammers who sent fake checks or other bogus cash for payments, buyers who sent cash or deposits but never received the product, fake owners listing a property for rent – then taking deposits or cash for background credit checks, and armed robberies.
This year in Chatham County, police investigated armed robberies that were executed using Facebook Marketplace.
According to the Chatham County Police Department (CCPD), the robberies involved ads for a car for sale. When the potential buyers showed up, several armed men robbed them at gunpoint.
CCPD offered the following tips for those using Facebook Marketplace or other online markets.
- All meetings should happen in the daytime and in a public place.
- If the item is valuable and a significant amount of cash is to be exchanged, it is best to conduct the transaction in the parking lot of a police precinct.
- If a seller acts suspiciously or changes the location of the sale, do not meet them.
- Also, avoid meeting sellers when you are alone.
CCPD urges anyone with information to call 912-651-4717 or Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020.