Letgo and OfferUp scams have been on the rise in recent months, despite efforts to curb the impact of fraudsters in the online buying and selling communities.
Letgo and OfferUp are two buying and selling apps, which work in the same ways as Craigslist, giving buyers and sellers of quality secondhand items a platform to get great deals and sell secondhand products. Both of these companies have information on their website which is helpful to know when you sign up for a purchase using their platforms.
Knowledge is key to being one step ahead of fraudsters and online scams these days, which is why we have unpacked some of the details around these particular scams and how you can avoid them or report them.
If you’re a senior or are in close relation to someone who is, check out this blog with some key tips to assist as you avoid internet scams.
What Are Letgo And OfferUp Scams?
Have you ever bought a really great secondhand item from Craigslist, a friend or family member?
Well, this is why Letgo and OfferUp exist, they offer unique spaces to buy and sell goods between local communities. However, scammers are trickling in to distort the purpose of these platforms by robbing people of cash before they’ve even thought to check any red flags out.
The two main ways fraudsters have been able to steal cash are firstly, through pretending to be a buyer, and secondly, fraudsters will publish an ad for an expensive product that doesn’t exist.
How Can You Avoid Being Scammed While Using Them?
It is important for consumers to be aware of the red flags associated with these types of scams so that they can be aware, and vigilant when buying and selling online. Below we have listed some key things to watch out for.
The Fraudulent Buyer:
- If the buyer of your item refuses to meet in person, this could be a tell-tale sign that they are up to something. When it comes to test driving cars and other such sales, be very cautious if a buyer does not want to test drive a car before they purchase it.
- If you are dealing with checks or cash when someone is offering to purchase your item, be very aware of the transaction process. It’s good to keep in touch with your local bank and to get their perspective on a check transaction. It’s always safer to have the money transaction process covered by local banks or even your local authority.
- Another option is to use a service such as MoneyGram, where once a transaction is made it cannot be reversed. Be aware of using Apps such as PayPal for this kind of purchase, money can reflect in your account, but it is possible for someone to reverse the transaction after receiving their item.
The Fraudulent Seller:
- Be wary of sellers who put you under pressure to make decisions quickly. For example, eager fraudulent sellers might continue to email or contact you to add pressure to the purchase. This should signal you to be very careful when dealing with this person. Often fraudsters use language like, “as I mentioned before” or “like I’ve told you before.” Don’t be manipulated into believing there is any urgency to spend your money, rather be certain and take your time.
- The manipulation doesn’t end with a pushy buyer, but often fraudsters will pull the poverty or hardship card where they claim to be desperate for the money, so they have no option but to sell their item. Sometimes people may be genuine, however we recommend you play it safe and be cautious, this kind of emotional blackmail can end up costing you.
- Be wary if the seller claims to be covering shipping fees, this may not be so, and it might be a distraction so that you don’t see their other hand pinching your cash and blindsiding you. If a seller mentions this, be aware of fraud.
What Do You Do If You Have Been Scammed?
There is nothing worse than living in the fear of being scammed, which is why we highly recommend knowing your facts so that you can spot it when it comes, and easily avoid it. It isn’t always obvious but without knowing the facts, you might never be alert and aware, and it might end up costing you.
If you have been scammed, the best thing you can do is to report it to the website platform that you were using, as well as to your local authorities and internet fraud hotline.
By sharing the facts with friends and family members, you could save them the same experience. If you are ever unsure of something, we recommend getting a second opinion on it before making any purchases or selling anything valuable to someone who you found online.
Letgo and OfferUp both have some helpful guidelines and policies around using their sites, so make sure you’re aware of those guidelines and get in touch with a representative immediately if you suspect any fraudulent activity.
Keep Alert With The Anti-Fraud News Blog Archive
This platform is designed to keep you, your family and friends in the loop when it comes to the old and new tricks of the scam and fraud world. It is so important to stay alert in order to avoid falling prey to a scammer, and potentially losing a lot of valuable resources and personal information.
We are in a day and age where fraudsters are getting smarter as technology advances, and they are not afraid to take advantage of a naive or vulnerable citizen. It is possible to avoid being scammed online, however; your number one weapon of defense is to keep informed with the right information.
At the end of the day, no one is immune to this issue, get your daily inoculation from the Anti-Fraud News blog you can trust.