The victim of a Facebook Marketplace scam took to TikTok to warn people not to make the same mistake she did, and now her warning is going viral.
Michel Janse (@michel.c.janse) gained more than 1.1 million views, 52,000 likes, 3,600 saves and 1,700 comments after uploading the PSA to his account.
Now, like the PSA alerting TikTokers to the potential digestive dangers of raw chia seeds or why you should never use tongs in a car, Janse’s scam warning is being shared on social media .
The Google Voice Scam on Facebook Marketplace
According to Janse, his interaction with the potential Marketplace buyer started out normally. After receiving a message from a woman interested in purchasing her furniture, Janse reviewed the woman’s profile (as a “general check”) and then messaged her to arrange the purchase.
That’s when the exchange took a suspicious turn.
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“For my safety, I just want to confirm that you are a real person,” the buyer allegedly wrote to Janse. “Are you okay if I voice call you from Google?”
Although his gut told him the request seemed strange, Janse agreed to send him his phone number.
He then received a text message with a Google Voice code, which the buyer asked Janse to transmit to him. Janse complied, only to realize later that she had been scammed.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you give a scammer your phone number and then transmit the Google Voice code, the scammer can create a Google Voice number linked to your phone number. The scammer will then use your number to scam other people and hide your identity.
However, sometimes these scammers are looking for more than just your phone number or a Google Voice code. “If they obtain enough information from you, they could impersonate you to access your accounts or open new accounts in your name,” the FTC says.
For those who have already been scammed, there are steps to recover your Google Voice number, steps Janse says he took after realizing his mistake.
‘…thanks for this warning’
More than 1,700 TikTokers commented on Janse’s video and many of them thanked him.
“I’ve never actually heard of this, so thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you were able to get things back,” she commented @prairie_girl_4life.
“As someone who just started using Facebook Market, thank you for this warning… I could have fallen for it, though,” @azenaetherial wrote.
Some, however, had heard about the scam before and others had fallen victim to it.
“I’ve heard about this. I always tell them I prefer to keep in touch on Facebook Messenger and they never respond,” wrote @cherylann212.
“It happened to me too. I no longer have access to my Facebook,” she commented @fiftiesrediscovery.
How to Avoid Other Facebook Marketplace Scams
According to the FTC, there are several ways scammers can scam you out of your money, including fake payments, fake refund requests, and overpayments on fake checks.
To avoid being scammed on Marketplace, the FTC advises sellers:
Don’t accept mobile payments from someone you don’t know.
Never deposit a check (or mobile payment) for more than the sales price.
Don’t share your Google Voice verification code (or any other verification code) with someone you don’t know.
But it’s not just sellers who can fall victim to a Marketplace scam. Buyers can also be scammed. Facebook advises Marketplace users to be aware of different types of scams and learn how to avoid them.
“Scams can happen to both buyers and sellers. Some listings may also be scams. Scams come in different forms, so it is important to know what scams are and how to recognize them when buying and selling on the Marketplace,” explains the platform.
How to report a scam
According to Facebook, if you see something you believe is a scam, you should stop communicating with the buyer or seller and report the suspected scam to Facebook.
The FTC advises victims to also report the incident at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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The post ‘Don’t Fall For This Scam Like Me’: Women’s Facebook Marketplace PSA Goes Viral On TikTok appeared first on In The Know.
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