The virtual world is progressing at such a fast pace that even marketplaces have started to take advantage of this huge consumer availability and authorize transactions to buy and sell products via the internet. However, the popularity of such online marketplaces and platforms has as a result attracted numerous scammers, who are constantly devising new tactics and methods to swindle money out of vulnerable and gullible buyers. Even sellers are not exempt from such fraud, as many sellers have reported incidents of fake payments or fraudulent transactions being conducted from their bank accounts, owing to transactions they have had with scamming buyers. OfferUp scams is one such scamming that takes place on this mobile platform called OfferUp, which is basically the mobile alternative of classified advertisement websites like Craigslist. Although, OfferUp is usually a great place to purchase low or mid-price range items, most scammers manipulate buyers into falling for their tricks and losing considerable amounts of money, in an attempt to buy a high priced items like automobiles. The following incident will help you realize the extent to which such threats go.
The story of me being scammed while going to sell my old car
“I had an old Honda Civic that I wanted to sell urgently owing to the fact that I had some cash commitments that I needed to meet. Coming to know about OfferUp from a friend of mine, I quickly posted a listing for my car and waited for a response. One buyer started showing excess interest and thinking that it was going to be an easy sell, I entertained him. We decided upon a date when he would come visit my place to take the car out for a test drive. However, on the decided date there was no sign of the buyer. I contacted him again through OfferUp and he told me that he was faced by an emergency and could not come over. However, he really wanted to purchase the car and therefore, was going to send me a check for the complete listed price of my car via a cashier’s check that would come in through UPS. He also asked me to use some amount, which he would send extra through the check to clear shipping costs.
Finding this to be a convenient bargain, I agreed. Soon enough I received the check, deposited it and it cleared, upon which I proceeded to withdraw the amount. However, almost as soon as I had withdrawn the money, the buyer started to call me repeatedly. I picked up his call, thinking it to be an urgent situation. He started telling me how the money I had just withdrawn was sourced from an online scam that he had conducted and unless I send half of that cash immediately to Houston, and the remaining half to Nigeria, law enforcement officials are going to catch up to me and find me guilty for conducting the online scam and moving the money. Scared and witless I did what he had asked immediately and sent the money through MoneyGram, a platform that he had specifically asked me to use. Thinking that I had clearly dodged a bullet, I went back home. However, the next day I was met with the terrible news that my bank account had been completely overdrawn, which is when it dawned on me that the entire story about the online scam was part of the OfferUp scam I had become a victim to.” -Anonymous Contributor
Ways to protect yourself
Much of what had happened to this individual using OfferUp was partly his fault owing to the fact that he was not equipped with adequate knowledge about the risks that the site possessed. Being a wise seller, he should have seen the red flags when the buyer resisted meeting with him in person or introduced such an elaborate payment plan. He should also have gone through the buyer’s ratings and verified his identity before agreeing to sell his car to him. He should have further realized that this was an OfferUp scam when the buyer asked him to use MoneyGram, a platform where you can wire and receive money, but never recover it. Therefore, I humbly believe that it is important to raise awareness regarding such issues and scams that take place on OfferUp, a platform that is otherwise excellent in the service that it provides. It is for this very reason that I encourage you to come report your incidents of OfferUp scams on our website Ripoff Scams, a platform that has been specifically created to educate people of such risks and make them cautious of such fraudulent buyers and sellers. Do not let another innocent person suffer the same fate that you did, and report the incident of how you had been scammed to help people be weary of such dangers.