You’re probably seeing scam posts on a daily basis in local Facebook Groups, and many people may still be falling for them. We’re keen to raise awareness on these, so here are some doing the rounds at the moment to beware of…

If you spend any time in Facebook land it’s likely you’ve read a scam post, or more recently, seen 1000s of them. The sudden onslaught of fraudulent and bizarrely similar posts shows that community Facebook Groups unfortunately yield results for those who are willing to take advantage of others.

In a bid to raise awareness of scam posts, we’ve added some of the current ones that are continuously seen in local Facebook Groups.

The ‘Just Send Through a Deposit’ Scam

The most common and widespread scam posts are items posted for sale. This can be anything from concert tickets (many were unfortunately scammed with the recent Taylor Swift concert mania) to everyday items and even puppies. When contacted, the seller requests either a deposit, or full payment be transferred – and then you are blocked from the profile after payment is made.

 

The ‘Dead Relative’s Estate’ Scam

Scammers are also becoming more clever and more insidious. Their posts tug on heartstrings and are targeted for community Groups where many of the members are kind enough to help each other on a daily basis.

Look out for the ‘My (insert relative here) has died and I’m looking after their estate. Here are some items I’m selling.”

These posts tend to have the same highly desirable items (all in immaculate condition) in the images – flat screen TVs, PlayStations, trampolines, coffee machines, home gyms, trailers and tractors. You get the idea, big ticket items that are being sold off at amazing prices – so long as you send through a deposit it’s yours.

Do not send through a deposit!

The ‘AirCon Cleaners and Car Detailing’ Scams

Even more concerning is the idea that not all scams remain just online, some scammers go a step further wanting access to your home – so don’t be fooled by the ”we don’t require a deposit” scenario, which many of the AirCon cleaners and car detailing posts are now claiming.

This warning was shared in the Willoughby Living Facebook Group recently:

Similarly, Lachlan Thomas, a legitimate car detailer operating on the Northern Beaches and North Shore put out a warning recently about scam car detailing posts.

“My research in how to identify a scam post is that: they all use similar verbiage: “pay after services”, “we come to your driveway”, they all use childish emojis. No business name, logo or ABN… they always ‘like’ their own posts. Also, look at their friends, often Nigerian or Kenyan.”

There’s still some question over the actual scam result with these. “Another Group said that they steal your car, potential for house robbery but also data farming,” says Lachlan.

The fake business is also often carpet or air-duct cleaning, and even pest control.

How To Avoid Being Scammed

Here are some suggestions from Facebook Group admins to avoid being scammed in Facebook Groups:

1. Pay cash only
2. If you’re purchasing something, pick it up from the seller’s address (with delivery you can’t pre-inspect the item) 
3. Inspect anything you are buying thoroughly – plug it in, see it working.
4. Do not transfer money
5. Do not pay a deposit for anything
6. Do not use Pay ID
7. Do not use Paypal (scammers can hold out over the 30 day period) 
8. If you’re selling or buying a big ticket item, suggest the person meet you outside a police station for the transaction. 
9. Do not pre-pay or pay upfront for trades, including house cleaning. Also check they have a valid license, trading name, ABN, and also check their website, Facebook page and any reviews.

Where to Report Scams

If you’ve spotted one in a Facebook Group you can click the three small dots on the top right of the post. You are then given the option to Report Post (this goes to Facebook) or Report post to group admins, which is also a good idea so they can remove it immediately.

 

The Australian Signals Directorate from the Australian Government, also has some great advice and report options for scams: https://www.cyber.gov.au/report-and-recover/recover-from/scams

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