OfferUp is a platform that enables you to buy and sell items online, with no commissions or fees. Sellers can pay a fee to promote their items, making them more visible in search results for potential buyers. OfferUp is often compared against Craigslist as well as Facebook Marketplace when looking at networking possibilities. However, with any platform, there are a few things that buyers and sellers need to know about the possible dangers of online transactions. In this article, we will explore some common scams that occur on OfferUp and what you can do to prevent them from happening to you.
The vast majority of scams on OfferUp are fake accounts. There are many ways to spot them, but the easiest is noticing when you search for an item and see multiple listings with identical photos from different sellers’ profiles. One other red flag is if a new account wants you to pay upfront outside of OfferUp or has negative feedback; definitely watch out for that. If a buyer has had multiple bad experiences with the account before, be cautious.
Fake account scams are common on listings for luxury items like Louis Vuitton handbags or Dior. If you search for a purse by a luxury brand and come across a dozen listings of the exact same item in the exact same photos, don’t buy it. They’re most likely all faking a sale
There have been many people who are getting scammed by verification codes on social media. This is just another scam that you’re likely to see when buying or selling things on OfferUp – one of the most popular scams out there. The buyer or seller may ask for your cell phone number and then request that you confirm a code so they know that you’re “real”, in turn being able to access your OfferUp account.
The overpayment scam works by appealing to the idea of an easy way to earn a few extra bucks on your sale. Say you’re selling a $2,000 laptop and receive a message from someone who loves it and offers full price, PLUS $150 extra for “shipping”– but you know that won’t cost even $50 in shipping. You can let them go ahead with their offer or say no thanks, but if so why not just let them do what they want?
If this happens, you’ve become a victim of one of the most common OfferUp scams. When you are conned into accepting the risk of receiving a bad check, it’s only after you’ve shipped the item to find out it bounces. The real kicker is that you end up having to pay fees for a bounced check.
One of the most common scams on OfferUp involves phishing. The scammer sets up a fake site with an identical layout and logos as the legitimate OfferUp site. They post links to their phishing website in their Sale ad, which leads you to pay through them instead of through the real OfferUp website where your payment is protected by Offerup’s services. This leaves you out of luck if they don’t send what they promised once paid for because there are no protections available for buyers when using such websites.
To avoid fraudulent OfferUp sites, never click on links outside the original website to complete your transaction. The legitimate site helps counter common scammers by offering purchase protection for your debit or credit cards if they’re paid directly through the app.
You can protect your purchase with shipping on OfferUp by following links in the transaction process. This is a necessary step for getting any protection of your item. Any seller insisting that an item has additional shipping charges is most likely trying to scam. All information about available methods to ship items are stated on their website. If sellers send you an invoice via another app for “additional fees” then it’s more than likely they are trying to get more money out of you and there’s a good chance you won’t get the product.
- Meet in well-lit public places where there are a good amount of people
- Bring a friend or relative along with you
- Pay with cash or a traceable financial app with buyer/seller protection
- Keep screenshots of everything
- Select “Goods and services” when paying with PayPal
- Be sure test to out electronics when you get them, making sure they work