WATCH OUT!! CAUTION!!
I don’t want this to happen to anyone else!
The scammers are ever evolving, changing their tactics to blindside the uninformed. I don’t mean to scare anyone, but want us all to be vigilant in the most innocent situations.
As most of you know, my husband and I have downsized our house from 2,800 Sq. Ft. To 1200 Sq. Ft in our last two moves. As a result, we’ve had lots of items to dispense with. I bought some furniture new to furnish our last home; some very nice furniture pieces. They are just too big for our current abode.
Everyone told me, use Facebook Marketplace. It works great!
I naively thought it would happen like that. I am thrilled for those people it works for; I don’t seem to be one of them!! It’s been frustrating.
A few weeks ago, not wanting to donate nearly new/barely used furniture, I started the Facebook Marketplace listings.
All I got were scammers!! No kidding!
Let me tell you how they presented, so you don’t get tricked into thinking you have a buyer.
I listed as Cash Only and Local Pickup!
Within a half hour of listing this piece of furniture, I had a person interested. She said she was out of town, but her cousin could pickup the furniture. She needed to use a payment app to complete the payment because her cousin didn’t have the cash.
I’ve used Cash App, Venmo, PayPal and Apple Pay, so I knew money was secure.
Here’s what I didn’t know…
She wanted to use Zelle for payment. Zelle is actually through my bank, so I was contemplating it. Then it turned weirder. She said she couldn’t process the payment because I didn’t have a “business” account with Zelle; just a personal one…. Ok, I don’t own a business, so that made sense.
She sent me a long email from Zelle instructing us how to proceed with the transaction. In order to qualify as a business account, I needed a $900 deposit made as a transaction. So…. She was going to deposit the extra money in my account to qualify me and then I would owe her the difference between the price of the furniture and $900. So, I would owe her money.
She went through such things as “Are you sure I can trust you?” “Don’t worry, I’ve done this before!” “This happens a lot.” “It’s simple.”
When she asked if she could trust me, I texted, “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing!”
By this time, I was texting with my daughter. She said, Mom, don’t hurry to do anything. “The lady” was trying to hasten things. If I stalled in answering her, cause I was checking things online, she would quickly text me again.
At some point she said, I’m going to deposit the extra money NOW and you’ll have to pay me back. I said, “DON’T DO IT, I will not pay you back! I didn’t get your first payment.” She said she had made it and I would have to check with Zelle. I told her to cancel her payment and she would have to check with Zelle. It wasn’t my responsibility for the money that never made it to me.
Finally, we found the scam on line and I ended my texts telling her I wanted cash only!
Here’s the scam…. They make you think you owe them money by any means they can and try to get you to pay out. You will receive no money from them and they are NOT interested in what you are selling! They are trying to get you to send them money!!!
1. I started feeling funny when she would only use one means of getting money to me, Zelle, and I wanted CASH!
2. The email had the Zelle logo but was very confusing to me: not well written. She obviously sent me the email and it did go to my spam folder. She told me to check my spam folder, “that’s where she found hers!” She had asked me for my email to transfer the money. I wasn’t real concerned about giving my email address, but I wasn’t giving anything else.
3. She was rushing the transaction! I’m the one selling. I can take as long as I want to answer you.
4. She never tried to haggle the price; very unusual for Marketplace!
5. I was checking my Zelle account, which I have because it comes through my bank, but I’d never used it and found out the daily limit on my account was way higher than she was telling me.
6. We were going from me selling something to me owing her money… BIG NOOOOOO!!!!
7. My distrust and bells were going off at the sheer length of this transaction and I wanted to just stick to CASH only at delivery.
I was checking things during this transaction and conferring with my daughter. It’s nice to have someone’s input that is not in the middle of the transaction. She and her husband started looking for the scam confirmation on the internet, but it took them a while to find it.
When they did, I texted “the lady” that I was done texting about this transaction!
Believe it or not, I got another scammer within a half hour of her. I didn’t get this far with him. I told him, CASH ONLY! He wanted my address, which I did not give, and told him we would meet at a public agreed upon location. He continued till I told him my husband would meet him with the piece of furniture! Then he went silent! By the way, he didn’t haggle either!!
I AM NOT giving out my address!! No way!!
Two weeks later, when the FB Marketplace listing refreshed, within minutes, I had another scam inquiry which ended with me saying Cash Only, local pickup!
Then someone convinced me to list it on Craig’s List since it wasn’t selling (Yes, I dropped the price.)
Same thing happened on Craig’s List. Within 30 minutes, I had a buyer who started out with, “I am out of town. Can I wire you the money?” I shut that down quickly by reiterating “Cash Only. Thank you for inquiring!”
Two more contacts came with Craig’s List, both scams, not buyers.
I don’t even know if I’ll use FB Marketplace again! It’s been a waste of time and stressful. Somehow I have “Scam Her” written across my forehead!!
No… I have not sold the piece of beautiful furniture, but today, it went to a consignment furniture store. It’s my last hope.
It’s out of my house and maybe, I can squeeze a small percentage of what I paid for the solid wood piece of furniture. I’m convinced today’s society would rather have IKEA furnishings then a solid dovetailed-joints-crafted piece.
Please friends, BEWARE … None of us need these hassles or potential deficits.
Be alert and take precautions when selling online!!!
Anybody with a similar story?
What did they use to try and lure you in?
Don’t even try that again,