These 3 crucial steps can help you avoid Facebook Marketplace scams – NBC Chicago

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Flea markets and yard sales are still around, but they aren’t as popular as they once were.

These days, much second-hand selling has moved online year-round to websites and social media, including Facebook Marketplace.

But before you make a purchase, there are some things you should do to ensure your money and data are safe.

And while buying a car from a stranger might not typically be recommended, if that’s what you choose, make sure to do your homework.

That’s what one recent purchaser did.

“Because we had people in common in the area, I felt actually more secure about buying the car from that person,” Michelle Concha said.

Along with getting a good deal using social media, you can also get scammed. Consumers have lost more than $2.7 billion to social media scams since 2021.

While you might think scammers lurking on Facebook Marketplace want money, they might actually be after your data. As a result, here are some recommendations from Consumer Reports:

  • First – Never share personal information like your address, email or phone number. Only communicate through Facebook Messenger.
  • Second – Think about where the sale will take place. Meet in a public, well-lit area and never give away your home address. Consider a police station. Some even have designated parking spots where marketplace meet-ups are watched by security cameras.
  • Third – Never exchange cash. Facebook Marketplace recommends a secure person-to-person payment method.

You always want to make sure that you’re sending money to the right person before you send the full amount. So it’s a good idea to send a $1 dollar test payment first. Then make sure that that person received it.

And for large purchases, like a car, pay the old-fashioned way and get a cashier’s check.

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