Whether you’re looking for a houseplant, a coffee table, or a new gaming console, online marketplaces can be a great place to start.


But be careful. Anonymous listings and virtual transactions are ripe for Online Marketplace Scams, which can take a variety of forms.

 

In some cases, an alleged seller may post a tempting or urgent false offer, so you'll act on impulse rather than reason.


Pay attention to listings that insist on direct payment methods like gift cards or money transfers, keeping in mind that certain payment types can’t be refunded. In other instances, a supposed buyer may claim to have purchased a product above your listed price and request a refund before canceling their original order. One marketplace scam growing in popularity involves a fake email appearing to be from Zelle®, claiming that a transaction cannot be completed until your Zelle® account is upgraded. In reality, the scammer is tricking you into paying them for an upgrade that doesn't exist.

When it comes to making safe purchases, remember to slow down and ask questions.


If you detect suspicious activity, report the user to your marketplace platform. If payment has already been made, contact your financial institution directly at the number listed on the back of your bank-issued debit card, in your banking app, or the bank’s official website.