It’s no secret that fraud is prevalent on Facebook. However, the sheer scale of the problem is shocking. According to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), social media scams have cost users a staggering $2.7 billion since 2021. Meanwhile, one in four people who reported losses due to any kind of fraud said the scam began on social media.
In the first half of this year, the FTC says that shopping scams constituted the biggest number of social media fraud cases, with 44 percent involving fraudulent sales. The agency went on to say that most of these cases began with a scam ad on Facebook or Instagram. However, Facebook Marketplace is another hot bed for this kind of fraudulent activity.
“Fake merchandise scams are notorious on Facebook Marketplace,” data expert Patrick Kopins told ConsumerAffairs. “A scammer will put up a seemingly high-end, premium brand like Gucci, Prada, Burberry, etc., and then sell it to an unsuspecting user. The user then finds out later that although it looked convincing, the product was a knock-off.”
While Facebook has policies in place preventing these sorts of scams, so many of them slip through the cracks that you’d be forgiven for not realizing that. That means it’s up to us to be careful and only engage with sellers we’re 100 percent sure of.
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