Money Matters: Avoid scams while buying and selling on Facebook

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Craigslist has usually been a popular choice for buying and selling stuff locally. Now Facebook pages have become the front runner for local sellers.

With Craigslist theres a little bit of anonymity. You never really know who youre dealing with specifically, said Greg Linder, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of the South Plains. Whereas if youre buying something on a Facebook group, you can have a better opportunity to look at the profile of the person who youre dealing with and get a better feel if they are someone you want to do business with.

A few of Reporter Ashley Clasters favorite pages are Selling in Lubbock, Lubbock Buy Sell or Trade, and Lubbock Texas Online Garage Sale. She said she uses all three of these groups frequently and never had a problem. But that is not the case for everyone.

If you can, try to inspect the product before you buy. Never give out any money or anything like that prior to having the product in your hand, Linder said. Check the product if you can and make sure it works.

A lot of times you might buy a product, like a washing machine, get it to your house, plug it in, and it does not work.

Another common scam is sellers trying to pass off counterfeits or replicas as the real deal.

Purses, shoes and watches, things like that. Some goods are just more prone to counterfeiting than others, Linder said.

Admins for the Online Garage Sale page require users selling purses that value over twenty dollars to show pictures of the inside so we know the tag is authentic.

Another big scamming problem for these pages is buying stolen goods. If the deal seems TOO good, the seller most likely did not pay full price for the item in the first place.

If that person is seeming like theyre in a really big hurry to get something sold, or they are really to get the deal done and move on, that might be a little bit of a red flag, Linder said.

You can avoid buying a stolen phone by using an app called SWAPPA, or by meeting the seller at your cell carriers store so employees can check it out first.

Steer clear of using a check or something like that, just for the sake of keeping your bank account information secure, Linder said.

Always meet in a public place, and remember these forums are public. Anyone can post. If you are the victim of a scam, contact the pages administrator. A lot of times, the user can be tracked and banned from the site.

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