I Got Scammed on Offer Up ( this is what not to do )
Avoid Communicating Outside of the OfferUp App
Never communicate with a buyer or seller outside of the app.
OfferUp provides a messaging system inside of its app. It does this to keep buyers and sellers safe and secure.
By using the app’s messaging system, you’ll never expose your email address or phone number, which can lead to many common scams.
How to Avoid OfferUp Scams
Just as there are numerous ways you can encounter scams on OfferUp, there are also a number of ways to help you avoid being a victim of those scams.
Only Make Purchases in the App
If you are paying electronically for your item, only do so through the OfferUp app or website.
Never wire money, pay by sending a gift card, or send or receive money via check. The less traceable a payment, the tougher it will be to get your money back.
As mentioned above, if you receive a check, there is a very good chance that it will bounce like a rubber ball, and you’ll end up owing your bank for the money you’ve withdrawn, as well as bad check charges.
Types of Offerup Scams You Might Encounter
There are numerous scams that the bad guys will use to try to separate you from your hard-earned cash or items.
Scammers will create a fake website that looks like the actual OfferUp website. The bad actor will then email links to the fake site or will advertise on other websites, social networks and other online locations.
Once you (the victim) click on the link to visit the website, the fake website will install malware on your device. In addition to the malware, the fake OfferUp website will offer fake items on the site to entice you into attempting to purchase these items.
When you attempt to buy the item, you’ll arrive at an online payment form, where there are (supposed) options to pay using a wire transfer, gift card or electronic check. You may also be asked for credit card information.
This allows the scammers to drain your bank account, make fraudulent charges on your credit or debit card, or steal your identity.
The bad actor will pretend to be in a hurry to sell an item.
The scammer will come up with a reason they must sell the item in a hurry, and they’ll tell you that you’ll need to pay for rushed shipping. To make up for the extra shipping charge, they’ll give you the item at a rock-bottom price.
Once you send the requested amount, the scammer will block you on the app and never send the item that you supposedly purchased.
A scammer creates several seller accounts on OfferUp, posting the same listing on each account. In each account, the same email address is listed as the contact method.
The scammer then says in the listing to email them about the listed item instead of clicking the Buy button.
The scammer will then ask you, the buyer, to pay via wire transfer, a gift card, or some other method of payment that makes it tough for buyers to get their money back. This allows the bad actor to sell the same item multiple times, while never delivering even one item.
Be on the lookout for used vehicle scams.
The vehicles are listed quite a bit below market value and are being sold using a fake VPN number and/or a fake title.
In some cases, buyers have found GPS trackers hidden in the vehicle, as the seller intended to track the vehicle to the buyer’s location and steal the vehicle in order to sell it again.
You can anonymously report insurance fraud or vehicle theft by calling toll-free at 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411), or by submitting a form on the NICB website.
An OfferUp scammer will pose as a buyer for an item that you’re selling and will attempt to get your (the seller’s) phone number.
The bad guy will then come up with an excuse to text you, perhaps claiming they need to send a code to verify that you are a real person. They will then send back a malicious link designed to steal your OfferUp login and password, or other information.
The scammer will then send you a bad check instead of paying through the app. The check is usually for an amount larger than the amount of the sale. They will then ask you to simply refund the overpayment in cash.
Later on, when the bad check bounces, you’re not only out the “overpayment” and the item you had up for sale, but may also have to pay a bad check fee to your own bank.
This scam is a bit tough to foil unless you’re an expert at detecting counterfeit bills.
The buyer (i.e., scammer) will agree to your price, so you set up a time and place to meet to make the transaction. When the scammer shows up, they pay for your item in crisp, new (but unfortunately counterfeit) bills.
You don’t find out the bills are counterfeit until you try to buy something using the bills or when you deposit the bills in the bank. You are then out both the item and the cash.