Stay safe using Facebook Marketplace

Stay safe using Facebook Marketplace

With Christmas fast approaching, some people are looking for deals on Facebook Market place. We at Melton Computers run one of Melton’s largest Buy, Swap and Sell groups and with our dedicated team of admins, we are aware of many types of problems when it comes to buying online from others.

From faulty equipment, to flat out overcharging, Market place will always be a place buyers need to be careful.

Sellers too can also be targeted by scammers in various ways. For example, a ‘buyer’ arranges a purchase and simply steals the item when they are picking it up.

So, what can we do to stay safe out there? Victoria Police recommend the following.

– Meet in a popular public place. (With a crowd)

– If you must meet at a home address, bring a friend or family member along.

– Always have a phone handy.

– Set up your phone to track your location to friends or family. Ie Find My iPhone, Live Location etc.

– Bring only the agreed-upon cash.

– Do the transaction during daylight hours.

– Don’t give out any personal information.

– Listen to your instincts.

Another popular way scammers target users is to offer a product, with an option to deliver the item. While this is ok if you’re using a reputable business or platform such as eBay, you should be wary when purchasing large items directly from people without visually inspecting the item.

If you feel you have no choice but to pay via remote payment and have the item delivered, do so with PayPal and don’t use the ‘family and friends’ option as you waive your rights to protection.

Here are some other tips from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

– Do not send your credit card number via email.

– Keep all significant receipts and written warranties so you can prove your purchase.

– Avoid excessive deposits and high interim payments for products and services you have ordered.

– Use gift cards, vouchers, and credit notes as soon as possible so you do not miss the expiry date.

– When you enter your card details, do not provide your bank account number as well.

– Notify your credit card provider immediately if you become aware of an unauthorised transaction on your account.

– Be aware that debit cards do not have the same level of protection as credit cards against fraudulent use.

– Check the business is registered by using the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)’s business name search.

When making a purchase online, it really is a case of buyer beware, If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If you feel like you may have fallen victim to an online scam, there are some steps to follow.

– Contact your financial provider and let them know.

– Contact the business/businesses that you think may have been affected.

– Contact the Police / VCAT if you want to take the matter further.

– Contact Melton Computers if you feel your computer, data or email has been compromised

We strongly advise not to ‘name and shame’ people on Facebook as you could be in breach of slander laws. If you have a grievance with a business, there is normally an amicable solution. If not, you should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.