Depop Phishing Scams Explained [3 Scenarios]


The number of scammers on Depop is mindblowing. Phishing and other online scam attacks on Depop typically happen in waves. Scammers target tens of thousands of Depop users for a few days or weeks, stop the attacks for a while, and resume them afterward.

There are three frequent Depop scam variations circulating around that you should know about. They either target your personal or financial information (phishing) or they aim to take your money without actually shipping the item you paid for. Scammers target both buyers and sellers. While it’s a lot more difficult to scam sellers, that doesn’t stop scammers from trying. As always, when it comes to scams, the best strategy is to avoid falling into the scammers’ trap in the first place.

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These phishing attacks don’t stop with Depop. Scammers use the same technique commonly seen in Facebook Marketplaces, eBay, Amazon, and other online marketplace platforms. But let’s dig deeper and explore the variations of Depop phishing scams.

Here’s How Depop Scams Work

Scenario 1: Your Depop Account Will Get Suspended

In this Depop scam variant, the scammer pretends to be a Depop staff member and claims to be suspending your account. To prevent this, they’ll ask you to follow a phishing link that directs you to a fake Depop website. Cybercriminals use that link to steal your personal information, credentials, and bank details.

By the way, you can use Scam Detector’s Validator tool to check if a website is safe.

To create a sense of urgency, scammers sometimes mention that you have only a few hours left to prevent your account from getting suspended. They exploit your fear of losing access to your Depop account to convince you to act fast and follow their instructions to the letter. The scammers capture all personal information you enter on the fake Depop website, which they then use to log into your account and carry out malicious activities.

Scenario 2: Verify Your Depop Purchase/Sale

In this variation, the scammer sends a message asking you to verify your email to continue your Depop purchase or sale. If you’re a seller, the message will mention that the buyer needs the seller’s email to verify the purchase.

Image Source: Reddit

Afterward, they will ask you to confirm your PayPal email via a fake PayPal verification link that scammers use to hack into your account. You may also need to know these PayPal scam variants that you may encounter.

Scenario 3: Continue the Conversation on a Different Platform

In the third scenario, scammers will contact you on Depop’s platform asking you to send them additional pictures or continue the conversation on a different platform, typically Instagram.

Image Source: Reddit

Allegedly, that person is willing to pay a lot more for the items you’ve listed for sale. If you verify their profile, they look like legit accounts, making it even harder for you to notice something is wrong. The problem is, that account has probably been hacked.

If you’re interested in purchasing or selling something and you’re asked to leave the Depop app to get a better offer, you must know that the scammers want you to do an off-app transaction. Therefore, you won’t be covered with any purchase protection. Scammers typically ask you to continue the conversation on Instagram.

If you carefully check their terms and conditions, you’ll notice they probably say that stolen or damaged packages are not their responsibility. In other words, if you buy from them, they’ll simply say the package was stolen and that’s not their responsibility.

If they buy from you, there’s likely a clause that says they can keep fake products unless paid a certain percentage of the deal. In other words, they can easily claim the item you sold is fake, cancel the payment and keep the respective item until you pay a certain amount.

How to Spot the Red Flags

If you’re asked to get off the Depop platform, that should raise a major red flag for you. Don’t communicate outside the Depop app. Don’t make or accept payments outside the Depop app. Scammers will often say their PayPal account is currently unavailable and ask you to do an e-transfer. Sometimes, they’ll send you a PayPal.Me link using “a friend’s account.”

Don’t fall for this trap. Always pay within the Depop app.

If you’re a buyer, all of your in-app purchases are covered by Depop’s Buyer Protection. You’ll receive a full refund if your item doesn’t arrive or doesn’t match the seller’s description.

If you make purchases outside the Depop app, the company can’t do anything for you because they lack proof of the purchase. Don’t exchange any sensitive information via third-party apps or platforms. Scammers will ask you to confirm your email or PayPal address without the @ sign. They do that to bypass Depop’s security system.

Depop will never send you instant messages asking you to confirm personal information. Consider it a red flag if the seller pressures you to buy something and claims that many others are interested.

How to Avoid Depop Scams

Don’t share personal information of any kind via the Depop app or third-party apps.

Don’t make transactions outside the Depop app. Never pay off the app, no matter what the seller says.

Do not click on links sent via email addresses that don’t have as the sender. They’ll probably direct you to fake pages to steal your credentials.

Enable two-factor authentication to make it harder for scammers to gain unauthorized access to your account.

Check the seller’s profile before buying something from them. If they have a lot of items listed for sale but very few reviews, they’re probably scammers.

Be extra careful when buying expensive items on Depop, especially gadgets and luxury items. Ideally, refrain from buying items that are sold for $500 or more. It’s too big of a risk. You’re better off buying these items from official stores.

But if you still want to buy such items, always pay within the app. In this manner, you’re covered by Depop’s Buyer Protection policy.

How to Check if Your Depop Account Has Been Hacked

Scammers often hack inactive Depop accounts. If you suspect your Depop account has been hacked, immediately check for scam messages sent to somebody else. If you see any messages you don’t recall sending, consider it a major red flag. Do a quick research on the Internet and check if there are any other mentions of your Depop account on other platforms.

Check if there are any listings for items you don’t own or purchases and payments you don’t recall making. If Depop notifies you of recent account changes you didn’t make, it likely means your account was hacked.

Update your Depop email address and change your password. If you can’t login, contact Depop Support to recover your account.

What to Do if You’ve Been Scammed on Depop

If you’ve fallen for their tricks, report the scam to the Depop Support team immediately. Attach a screenshot of the messages you’ve received, and include all the details you can remember about the scammer’s account. You also need to change the password of the compromised accounts.

If your email account is compromised, change your password across all the platforms where you’ve used that email. Equally important, if the scammer sent you email messages, report that email account to your email provider.

If you suspect the scammers led you to a fake PayPal page, check if there’s been any suspicious transactions on your account. Contact PayPal support immediately, report the fraudulent transactions, and secure your account. You can also dispute transactions from fraudulent sellers. For more information, go to PayPal’s Support page.

Have you ever come close to becoming a victim on Depop? What were the red flags that raised the alarm bells for you?

If scammers did manage to trick you, share your experience in the comments below. Your insights could help others avoid similar situations.

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