Safety tips for buying and selling on Facebook Marketplace

There are practical ways to ensure that you and your money are safe while you shop online and meet with sellers in person.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Facebook Marketplace lures consumers with great deals; With one click you can get everything you want or need, from furniture and kitchenware to used cars and electronics.

But sometimes the listed items may turn out to be fake. Now, Charlotte-area law enforcement agencies are issuing warnings not just about scammers, but gatherings that turn violent.

“It’s the Wild West, anyone can post anything,” said Tom Bartholomy, president and CEO of the Better Business Office.

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Bartholomy says that Marketplace allows users to buy and sell seamlessly, but that comes with risk.

“Online shopping is the number one scam in the country right now and has been for the last three years, really since the pandemic started,” he said. “People’s buying patterns have changed and that just opens the door for scammers to take advantage of us.”

And since the police of the metropolitan area are sharing, the door is also open to dangerous encounters.

the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said a recent Facebook Marketplace transaction led to a shooting that seriously injured one person at a Steele Creek mall on Oct. 4. Officers said the suspect met with a person to sell a Dodge Charger that he had listed, but instead pulled out a gun. during the meeting. The prospective buyer tried to run away, but was shot in the stomach by the suspect.

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“Whether you’re buying something or you’re selling something, you really have to be cautious,” Bartholomy said.

Law enforcement agencies also continue to offer the same warnings about how scammers can take the money and run without providing the goods. the Kannapolis Police Department recently shared a warning to the public about a Facebook user who accepts payment from a children’s playhouse, but never provides the product.

Bartholomy offers some advice for when it comes time to get what you want.

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“Meet at the police station, that will put off a would-be thief or scammer very quickly,” he said.

Other advice: buy local, do not pay in advance and make sure you have the product on hand before paying. If you were still scammed, file a notice on Facebook so that the social network can remove the post.

You can also visit the BBB Scam Tracker to share your experiences and warnings.

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Y Instagram.

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