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Leboncoin, Vinted, Facebook Market Place: Beware of these Paypal payment scams

For this type of scam, the process can take months.
Scams on sales platforms are frequent. (© Photo illustration / Jean-Paul BARBIER Archive)

Clothing, computer equipment, furniture, etc. Whether it’s Le Bon Coin, Vinted or Market Place, many French people use platforms to resell their business. But money often attracts… scams.

So it’s not uncommon for scammers to catch you when you’re selling an item online. And for several years now, one scam has been wreaking havoc on Facebook Market Place in particular: payment by Paypal.

“This is not a new phenomenon, we see it very often, says Jean-Jacques Latour, director of cybersecurity experience at Cybermalveillance interviewed by Actu.fr:

Many people are fooled. We’ve been seeing a lot of scams on Vinted lately. Women are the main victims.

Jean Jacques Latourcybersecurity expert

What is this scam? response items.

The victim = the seller

Like (very) many scams, the process is always the same. Here, the victim is the seller. Under a false identitythe scammer sends a message to the seller on the platform (Facebook, Vinted, etc.), just a few minutes after the item is posted online.

Very quickly, and often without asking for details about the quality of the product offered for sale, the scammer indicates that he is buying this product and who is going to pay (without negotiating) Via paypal. Better, propose to advance the shipping costs.

just order? The seller must create a Paypal account. And this is where the scam takes shape. “Once this account has been created, the victim receives an SMS (or email) from Paypal with a link inside that must be clicked. Refers to fake website »explains the expert.

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Once on this fraudulent site, the seller is asked to send their bank details in order to receive the funds supposedly deposited by the buyer/scammer in Paypal, but also their Paypal identifiers and password. Thus, the scammer can recover them and the scam is played.

Sometimes the scammer even indicates that the funds deposited in the “fake” Paypal account may take several days to reach the seller’s pocket and that during this time the item can be shipped. If the seller ships it, you’ll never see the color of these so-called backgrounds, let alone see the item shipped again.

What is Paypal?

Born in the United States, Paypal is a worldwide online payment platform. Its use is free.
To do this, all you have to do is create an account on said platform and link it to your bank card or bank account to carry out the transactions.
A user can also fund their PayPal account and make payments with their code.

Better and better scams

Sure news.frwe have done experience of this scam (without reaching the end). A computer product went online Sunday night at Market Place. Within 48 hours, 15 people expressed interest in the item sold for 150 euros.

All with the same desire: to pay for the purchase through Paypal “in the safest way” according to the interested buyers. Cast, without asking if the item was in good condition as shown in the photo below.

Conversational exchanges between seller and
Conversational exchanges between the seller and the “criminals” (©capture Messenger / Actu.fr)

Which put a chip in our ear. So we decided to take a look at these Facebook profiles to try to get a little more information about the sellers. If it was obvious that some immediately felt the scam (a profile picture of a woman but with a male first name, a Facebook profile with two “friends” and no recent posts, etc.), others seemed -almost- honest.

In some profiles, in addition, there could be family photos, shared cooking recipes, travel images… Something (perhaps) to reassure the seller about the veracity of the profiles.

It is quite well done and the profiles, especially on Facebook, are very well built with a story that we create. Scammers rack their brains to make everything believable! That is why everyone can be deceived.

Jean Jacques Latour

Who are these scammers?

While browsers are the most notorious online scammers, “we’re here at level 2 grazers, says Jean-Jacques Latour. He implies that they are scammers “from time to time”, with independent profiles, who are all the rage in French-speaking countries.

“Some may even be based in France.” Fraudsters that are difficult to identify as dematerialized payments are common. For victims, it is essential make a complaint.

The more complaints there are, the more the phenomenon will be known and the more means we can implement to stop the scammers.

Jean Jacques Latour

How not to be had?

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, never click on the link sent by SMS or email from Paypal. “If you don’t have a Paypal account, it’s best to go directly through the platform (like Le Bon Coin or Vinted) to get paid.”

If, on the other hand, you have a Paypal account, go directly through it to check that the funds have been paid. If you don’t receive anything, it may be a scam.

Last piece of advice: for dematerialized sales, prefer payment by bank transfer for greater security. Even though this is a little more risky : either the buyer sends the money before receiving the package, or the seller sends the package without having received the money.

A risk to take (perhaps) so as not to get caught.

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