Facebook Marketplace scam alert | wcnc.com | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

Don’t respond to messages or emails that ask you to provide verification codes or account information, such as your email or password.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — WCNC Charlotte saw this post on Social Media that read:

“Someone wants to buy something I listed on Facebook, and they texted me that they wanted to send me a random code to validate that my post was real. Seems like a scam. Can anyone provide more information?”



Yes, if someone asks you to send them a validation code on Facebook MarketPlace, it is most likely a scam.


Bartholomy tells WCNC Charlotte this is most likely a scam, and the so-called buyer may actually be trying to take control of the seller’s phone. 

“They can then go in and set up a Google phone, and then that generates a code, and that goes to whoever has that phone number,” Bartholomy said. “So that code would come to me. I see it on my phone and say, oh, that must be about the Facebook marketplace. I would go ahead and enter that code and provides it to that other person as well, and now they have your phone.”

According to Bartholomy, that’s when the scammer can make long-distance phone calls or even overseas calls without you even knowing. 


“You won’t find out about it until you get your next phone bill,” Bartholomy said. 

Under the Marketplace tab on Facebook, there are several tips and safety instructions for users. Under “Protect your privacy,” Facebook states: 

Don’t respond to messages or emails that ask you to provide verification codes or account information, such as your email or password.

“Once you are not using the tools that are available on Facebook Marketplace, then this is when the scammers set in and take advantage of a bunch of folks,” Bartholomy said. 

Facebook said if you buy through Facebook by tapping “buy now” on the Marketplace listing, eligible purchases are covered by purchase protection, just an additional layer of security for transactions. 

Tip to avoid becoming a victim of a scam 

  • Emotional appeal – Any pitch that ratchets up your emotion will inhibit your rational judgment.  
  • Sense of urgency – You MUST act now, or else.  
  • Request for unorthodox payment – Gift cards, prepaid credit cards, wire transfers, etc.  
  • Explanations that don’t ring true – If your new “landlord” can’t show you the inside of the house, that could be because they don’t own it.  
  • You won, now pay up – It’s not a prize if you have to pay for it. Taxes, fees, shipping, whatever.  
  • Too good to be true – That’s because it’s not true. Sorry, your long-lost relative didn’t die, leaving you millions. That car you bought online for a third of its Kelly Blue Book value doesn’t really exist. The son of a billionaire diamond broker didn’t “swipe right” on you and fall instantly in love. That work-at-home job paying you hundreds of dollars an hour for stuffing envelopes isn’t real.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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