Avoiding Facebook Marketplace scams

Crime Tracker

It's quickly become a premier spot to shop.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s quickly become a premier spot to shop. Facebook Marketplace is a digital garage sale of sorts, where Carmela Rhodes looked for a TV.

“My friend said hey, saw somebody I went to high school with put up a TV for sale,” she explained. “It’s a really good deal.”

Priced at $250, the seller claimed the TV was garnering lots of interest, and there was a need to act fast.

“She said if you can Venmo me, or Cash App me some money, then it’s yours,” said Rhodes. “I’ll bring it to you right after work.”

The money was paid, and the stories started soon after. The seller claimed she couldn’t deliver for a myriad of reasons including a mom with a broken tailbone, waiting for an aunt to relieve her at the hospital, to waiting to get off work days later.

After days of games, Carmela requested a refund.

“She said she didn’t have the $250. She already spent it on bills,” said Rhodes. “I mean, I realize at this point, I’m not getting a TV or my $250 back.”

It’s one of the many pitfalls of Facebook Marketplace, and law enforcement agencies are sounding the alarm.

“If it sounds like it’s too good to be true, my experience has been that it typically is,” said Detective Thomas Holman, with Hendersonville Police.

Facebook offers a list of Marketplace tips on their website, including meeting in a safe location, verifying the items in person, and sticking with person to person payments.

“I think that’s a little unreasonable to ask someone to pay upfront,” added Det. Holman. “I’d recommend cash.”

Carmela’s case is a bit more bizarre, given that the seller was seemingly legit.

She’s now considering her legal options, and sounding the alarm.

“We had mutual friends, but they haven’t spoken to her since high school,” noted Holman. “I guess a lot changes.”

For those who feel they’ve been victimized, either by a buyer or seller, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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