BENTON – The Franklin County Sheriff’s office is experiencing an increase in the number of scam reports concerning the online sale of goods through Facebook Marketplace. The items for sale are often expensive such as vehicles or recreational vehicles that are available at a lower-than-normal cost. Within the post, the seller will often include a sad story as to why they are parting with the item at such a low price.
The buyer will be notified that the transaction will be finalized through eBay. The buyer will receive an official looking email that appears to come from eBay, however, this email will be fraudulent. The buyer will be asked to make payment for the goods in the form of eBay gift cards, Apple iTunes gift cards, Green Dot credit cards, Walmart money orders, or some other form of payment. Once the buyer purchases the cards they will be asked to give the information from the cards to the seller. This can either be on the telephone or email. Once this is completed, the seller will break contact and you will never see the item or your money again.
Making online purchases from individuals can be successfully accomplished. To ensure this, you should be able to meet with the buyer and see the particular items they are offering for sale. It is advisable to meet at a safe location with the seller such as a business parking lot. Many police departments offer the use of their lobbies or parking lots to exchange items in local purchases. The public is warned to be extremely cautious in making purchases where the item is to be shipped and the required payment is one of those listed above. Please remember, no legitimate seller will ask for payment to be made through gift cards.