OfferUp Buyer Scams: How They Work
Watch out for several OfferUp buyer scams that have been happening on the platform. Recently, OfferUp and LetGo have merged, so the pool of fraudulent schemes became more prominent, as most of the scams come now from the same place. All these fraudulent practices apply to other similar websites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Poshmark.
A few common scams arose when people tried to sell high-value items such as laptops or smartphones. Here, the OfferUp buyer is the criminals. In this article, we expose five of the most notorious traps on the platform. Let’s see.
Watch the video below to see the top OfferUp buyer scams exposed, or keep reading:
1. OfferUp Buyer Creates a Fake High Authority Profile
How do you trust a stranger? It’s hard, right? You really need to trust your instincts when you’re trying to sell something online, especially on OfferUp. To overcome the trust challenge that may appear, some scammers use military names and give themselves fake credit.
They tell you that they are departing overseas soon, to serve the country. Therefore, they need the item you’re selling on OfferUp as quickly as possible. As a good citizen, you might want to help since it’s all about respect, too. And that’s alright, but that’s what the fake OfferUp buyer is looking for: trust.
In reality, what happens is that scammers ask you to ship the item and get on with the sales contract BEFORE the money they “transfer” arrives in your account. If you complete their request out of goodwill, you will definitely not thank them for their service.
Usually, they would send you an invoice that the transaction is completed, so you would be convinced to ship the item – an expensive one, in this case – before actually getting the money. That trick leads us to the next scam.
2. OfferUp Buyer Sends a Fake Invoice
In the world of Photoshop, anything is possible. These days, you can fake whatever you would like. The chances are, very few people will notice. It is the reason most of the OfferUp scams are effective.
This scam usually happens when you choose to receive the payment via PayPal. PayPal is an excellent service for managing money, and many people use it daily. However, its popularity leaves room for a lot of PayPal scams.
As you probably imagine, scammers create fake PayPal invoices. We are talking about proper looking realistic invoices that they would even send – attention! – from a PayPal official-looking email.
They do this because, obviously, they don’t want to pay for what you’re selling. This way, you would ship them the item before the money arrives in your PayPal account. The OfferUp buyer wins another round!
3. Bogus Customer Support
Let’s say you are the victim of the previous item but don’t realize yet, as you’re waiting for the money. You just shipped your expensive item and yet haven’t received the money you asked for it. So you call the number on the invoice, thinking is the OfferUp customer service desk.
It’s a valid number, and a person picks it up and assures you that everything is alright. The bogus representative says the transaction has been indeed made, and your money will arrive shortly. You calm down and go on with your day. However, the OfferUp buyer scams continue.
So what just happened? The person you talked to was the scammer himself. By the time you realize that you still don’t have the money, your precious item has arrived at the crook. At this point, it’s tough to go after your product and your money.
4. OfferUp Cashier Check and Fake Money Orders
The Offer Up Cashier Check scam is one of the most common ones because it looks the most legit at the time of the sale. Fake money orders and checks are used in the OfferUp buyer scams because when the sale happens, the money supposedly gets deposited on the innocent seller’s account.
It takes a few business days until the bank may notify you that this was a fraudulent transaction. When that happens, you will be left without the expensive item and money to pay back to the financial institution.
5. OfferUp Buyer Runs Away
This scam is prevalent with smartphones and smaller items. It happens more than you could believe. Let’s say you want to sell your old cell phone and you prefer to be paid in cash. You also don’t wanna make the sale too complicated, so you avoid shipping it if the seller is in town. And obviously, he will be!
You meet up at an arranged location (suggested by the buyer) and try to get the business done. What happens is the criminal grabs your phone and runs away with it. As he chose the location, you can rest assured he knows the area very well and you can’t catch him. It may sound funny, but it happens regularly. The victims are too embarrassed to admit the theft, while many don’t even file a report with the Police.
Speaking of law enforcement, no scam should be left unreported. How can you do that when it comes to OfferUp fraud? Read below.
OfferUp Buyer Scams: How To Report
Let your friends know about these OfferUp Buyer scams by sharing this article on social media. You can officially report crooks and other suspicious activities to the OfferUp admin and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the links below:
How To Protect Yourself More
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Also, educate yourself with some other OfferUp fraud-related articles listed under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Feel free to use the comments section below to expose other OfferUp scammers.
OfferUp PayPal Scam
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