July 28, 2023

Hattiesburg Police Warn Of Facebook Marketplace Scams

Morgan Howard

The Hattiesburg Police Department posted on Facebook to warn the public of scams happening on Facebook Marketplace.
They said they have recently seen an increase in reports for fraudulent transactions through Facebook Marketplace, especially when selling vehicle and off-road vehicles.
The process typically includes legitimate conversations in response to a post, with an agreement for the purchase to be made and a time/place for the exchange.
In these situations, the person may not show up and sends a person in his or her place.
Additionally, sometimes the purchaser will agree to pay extra for an immediate exchange.
It’s only days later when the seller learns that the check or funds deposited into their account is fraudulent.
Ways to protect yourself while selling items in an online marketplace include:
• Don’t ever share personal financial information (PayPal login/password, bank account info, etc.) with buyers.
• For in-person transactions, accept cash or cashier’s check only or use the official payment methods provided through the platform that can guarantee payment.
• Pay attention to seller ratings. If a seller has a low rating, it usually means not to trust them.
• Create and share a meeting plan with a trusted friend or family member. Offer to use one of our SPOT locations at Fire Station #1 (810 North Main Street) or Fire Station #8/HPD Substation (104 Lamar Boulevard). These parking spots are dedicated safe places for online transactions and transactions may be monitored through use of video surveillance.
Regardless of the online marketplace used, we hope you’ll protect yourself and discontinue contact with any potential purchaser (or seller) who makes you feel nervous about the transaction.

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