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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, , ,   

    Why you should never give code numbers to strangers 

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we have two scams, while having different paths of entry, they both have the same outcome. That outcome is to get you to give the scammers a brand new phone number in your name.

    The first scam is very popular on Facebook Marketplace. When someone lists something for sale, they’ll get a message from a scammer posing as an interested buyer. The buyer says they want to make sure they’re not dealing with a scammer, so they’ll ask for the seller’s phone number.

    The seller will receive a text message on their phone containing a six-digit verification code. The scammer will then try to convince the seller to share that code. But in reality, what these scammers are up to is creating their own Google Voice account linked to the seller’s number. Once they have that Google Voice number, they can carry out more scams, and the trail leads back to the seller instead of the scammer.

    Again, the second scam is similar but more distressing. In this version of the scam, the scammers will look for missing pet notices, either on social media or posted around town. The scammers will call the number listed and claim to have the lost pet from the notice. This time, the scammer will again have a code sent to the lost pet’s owner, and then the scammer will ask for the code to supposedly verify the owner’s identity. Instead, they’ll use that code to open a Google Voice account using the pet owner’s phone number.

    It’s crucial to never share online authorization codes with strangers who call you. These codes often provide access to your accounts and sensitive information. Scammers may pretend to be someone trustworthy, but giving them these codes can lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other security breaches. Always verify the identity of the caller independently and refrain from sharing any sensitive information, especially authorization codes, to protect yourself from fraud and cyberattacks.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Marketplace, ,   

    Facebook Account Hijacking: How Scammers Exploit Lost Control 

    By Greg Collier

    For some, losing control of your Facebook account may not seem like a big deal. You may only use Facebook sparingly to keep in touch with a handful of friends and relatives. If you lose access to your account, you can just open a new one and send new friend requests while telling your friends list you got hacked. However, letting your Facebook account remain in the hands of hackers can not only leave your friends and family vulnerable to scams, it could also lead to frustrated strangers showing up at your door.

    For example, a woman from Alabama lost control of her Facebook account. Before she knew it, hackers took over her account and changed the password, locking her out of her own account. Then, the hackers posed as the woman and listed several items for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Once other Facebook users started responding to the listings, the hacker told the other users they were out of town, but would hold the item for them if they paid a deposit.

    As you can probably guess, the Facebook users who paid deposits never received the items they thought they were purchasing. Victims of this scam started showing up at the home of the woman who had her account hacked. Thankfully, those who did show up at her home were reasonable when they found out they were scammed. However, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think things may have taken a wrong turn if the wrong person got scammed.

    The woman stated that she’s trying to get Facebook to suspend her original account, but the hacked account is still active.

    Scammers like this love to get their hands on existing Facebook accounts because it makes their Marketplace scams appear legitimate since an active and older account is attached to the listings.

    In conclusion, safeguarding your Facebook account from potential hackers is not only crucial for your personal data but also for your online security. By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to malicious activities. Remember to regularly update your password, enable two-factor authentication, review your privacy settings, and be cautious about the information you share online. Your Facebook account holds a treasure trove of personal information, and taking these proactive steps will help ensure that it remains secure.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, , , , pump switching, , subpoena   

    Scam Round Up: The gas pump switching scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: The gas pump switching scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    There’s a new version of the advance fee scam circulating on Facebook Marketplace. An advance fee scam is when a scammer promises something valuable for free then asks for some type of payment for things like taxes or shipping.

    In this case, scammers are offering a free laptop, but it comes with a sob story. The ad claims the seller bought their spouse a new ‘laptop pro’, but they caught their spouse cheating and want to give the laptop away as a form of punishment.

    The ad almost tips itself off as being a scam, since the gender of the spouse switches back and forth in the description.

    “I am giving out this laptop Pro that I bought to surprise my husband for her birthday but then caught her cheating on me,” the scammer wrote. “I know I could sell it and get my money back, but I want to show her I gave it away for nothing like her is to me.”

    The catch is, once someone responds to the ad, the seller asks for a $70 shipping fee, and the laptop is never delivered. Scammers are also using hijacked Facebook accounts. So if you see a friend listing this for sale, you may want to let them know.


    A new version of the jury duty scam has popped up in Florida, and its targets are more vulnerable than the typical jury duty scam victim. Instead of just calling people at random and threatening them with arrest for supposedly missing jury duty, scammers are now targeting people who have actually been subpoenaed.

    Subpoenas are a matter of public record, and scammers are using these records to target their victims. Like the jury duty scam, the scammers are posing as the local police or court system and demanding cash from victims to avoid arrest. The scammers are asking their victims to meet them in person.

    However, also like the jury duty scam, no law enforcement agency or court will ever call you and threaten you with arrest if you don’t make an immediate payment. If any kind of legal fine ever needs to paid, a person would be notified by mail.


    Police in the Philadelphia area are warning consumers about a gas pump scam. They call it the pump switching scam, and it starts when someone approaches a victim at the gas pumps and insists on pumping their gas for them. According to the police, the scammers are quite insistent about it.

    If a victim agrees to this, the scammer won’t return the nozzle to the pump and will continue to fill the tanks of people who drive up for $20 cash. This will continue until the victim’s card hits its limit or the police arrive.

    To protect yourself from this scam, always return the nozzle to the pump and end the transaction. You can also prepay inside the gas station. If you do pay at the pump, also make sure you print out a receipt.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AirTags, , , Facebook Marketplace, , , ,   

    Scammers use AirTags to steal cars 

    Scammers use AirTags to steal cars

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re not familiar with AirTags, they’re a device sold by Apple that is essentially a tracking device. AirTags are intended to be used on things you don’t want to lose, such as keys and luggage. Some have even attached AirTags to their pets’ collars, so they can be located quickly if they get out. However, bad actors have used AirTags for more nefarious purposes. Unfortunately, there have been numerous instances of stalkers using AirTags to track their victims. Car thieves are also infamous users of AirTags.

    One such car thief was recently arrested in Minnesota, after a potential victim discovered his scam. The thief allegedly stole cars, then sold them to unsuspecting buyers on Facebook Marketplace. The cars would have an AirTag planted on them, so the thief could go back after the sale and steal the car back to sell it again.

    The Minnesota buyer felt like something was wrong with the sale when they were given a freshly cut key and a car title that felt like it was printed on the wrong type of paper. The risk in using AirTags in a scam like this is anyone nearby with an iPhone will be notified there’s an AirTag in their vicinity. The buyer’s wife did have an iPhone and received one of these notices. The buyer notified police, who apprehended the alleged scammer.

    Car thieves will also use AirTags to mark cars they want to steal at a later time. For example, a car thief could spot a car in a parking lot. Then, after attaching an AirTag somewhere on the vehicle, the thief can wait until the car is parked somewhere it would be easier to steal.

    If you use an iPhone and receive an AirTag notification, you’ll also be given an option to have the AirTag make a noise, This way, you’ll hopefully be able to locate the AirTag, and stop it from tracking you or your vehicle.

    If you’re thinking you’re out of luck because you have an Android Phone, we have some good news for you. Android also has an ant-stalking feature that will detect AirTags and similar trackers. Navigate to the Settings menu, select “Safety and Emergency,” and then access the “Unknown Tracker Alerts” option. Here, you have the option to toggle automatic scanning on or off and manually initiate a scan to check for the presence of any unidentified AirTags that might have been accompanying you.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, , ,   

    40 Marketplace scam victims show up to woman’s home 

    (Stock Photo)

    By Greg Collier

    If you saw an and for a used washer and dryer for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $250, you probably wouldn’t give it any other thought. After all, it’s only $250, what scam could the seller possibly try to pull for that amount of money. You’d be partially right, as the scam didn’t take $250 from victims. It only took $125 from victims, and there we’re a lot of victims. A quick estate believes the scammers made at least $5000. And one victim didn’t lose any money but has lost the peace and quiet of her home.

    In the Atlanta area, the aforementioned washer and dryer was listed for sale for $250 on Marketplace. As you may have guessed, there wasn’t any washer or dryer for sale. It was a scam listing designed to get deposits out of victims. The scammers asked for a deposit of half the price before allowing the appliances to be picked up.

    While the article doesn’t state it, the scammers were more than likely collecting payment on personal payment apps like Venmo or Cash App.

    When the scammers would give their victims an address where they can pick the items up, they gave them a random address in Atlanta. This address belonged to a woman who had no idea scammers were using it until people started showing up to her home looking for a washer and dryer. This has been going on for weeks, with at least 40 victims showing up to her home looking to pick up a washer and dryer. She’s even had the listing removed from Facebook, but the scammers keep putting up new ones. She’s posted a sign in her front yard warning victims there in no washer/dryer, and they’ve been scammed.

    Thankfully, there have been no incidents at the woman’s home. In the past, we have seen some incidents where the scam victim refuses to believe they’ve been scammed, and have become belligerent with the homeowner.

    It doesn’t matter what item is for sale online, there can be a scam attached to it. In this instance, the victims paid a deposit before seeing the product in person. We can almost guarantee the scammers had some kind of story as to why they couldn’t deliver the item.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, , ,   

    How to stay safe when using online classifieds 

    By Greg Collier

    It’s been a long time when we discussed safety procedures when using online classifieds like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even Geebo.com. This subject really hasn’t garnered any headlines in a while, but that doesn’t mean everything is safe now. Like regular people, the media can and often does focus their attention on many things. The media probably lost their attention when it comes to classifieds safety during the pandemic, as it was suggested that everyone maintained social distancing.

    Recently, a news story broke that reminded us to remind our readers about using these platforms safely. A man was shot in Jacksonville, Florida, after going to meet someone he was going to sell an iPad through Marketplace. The victim met the assailant in a gas station parking lot during the daytime. When the victim met with the buyer, the buyer tried to grab the iPad and flee with it. The victim was able to grasp the buyer, a struggle ensued, and the victim was shot.

    The victim followed the unwritten rules of meeting someone through Marketplace. He met them in a well-traveled area during daylight hours. Unfortunately, those rules don’t apply anymore, and haven’t for a while. As buyers and sellers started using these rules, the criminals adapted and became more brazen in their attempted schemes. Tragically, this has resulted in robberies, shootings, and murders.

    For years, we’ve subscribed to the notion that online classified transactions should be done at a local police department. While it’s not 100% effective, proposing to meet at a police department will go a long way in deterring countless scammers and thieves. Many police departments even have a designated area for such exchanges.

    And while we don’t often pat ourselves on the back, Geebo.com goes the extra mile of reviewing our ads to minimize the possibility of scams and other crimes. Also, each one of our ads provides a link to SafeTrade Stations, which provides a list of accommodating police departments. Geebo.com was created with the safety of our users in mind.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace, , piano, ,   

    There’s no such thing as a free piano 

    There's no such thing as a free piano

    By Greg Collier

    If you saw an online listing for a free piano, would you think anything of it? It’s understandable why it might be free. Pianos aren’t exactly easy to get rid of. You can’t just leave a piano out on the curb for the sanitation department to pick up. So, giving a piano away for free makes sense. Except, that free piano may not even exist. Instead, it’s all part of a shipping scam.

    The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Connecticut is warning residents of the Nutmeg State that several people there have fallen victim to this scam. The scam starts when someone sees a free piano being given away on Facebook Marketplace. The seller claimed the piano belonged to her late husband and selling it didn’t feel right. She wanted to give it away to ‘honor his soul’.

    Before we get to the heart of the scam, we wanted to stop here and point out the first red flag of not just this scam, but many others as well. Whenever a deal seems too good to be true and there’s an emotional story involved, there’s a good chance it could be a scam. We see this a lot with used and classic cars. The seller will claim the owner passed away, or the owner is being stationed overseas in the military. Stories like these are designed to get the victim to let their guard down while thinking they’re doing a favor for the seller.

    Getting back to the piano, while it may be listed for free, there’s always a price to pay. In this case, the seller insists on having the victim use a certain moving company to have the piano picked up. The seller is directed to the website of a moving company that appears to be professional and legitimate. The website then asks the victim to make the payment by entering their payment information. Then the victim has their financial information stolen.

    If you happen to be searching for a piano and come across a free one advertised, it’s advisable to avoid it unless you are willing to personally pick it up or arrange for your own movers.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace, , ,   

    Reporter’s home used in rental scam 

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re a rental scammer, the last house you want to use in your scam is probably one which belongs to a police officer. The second to last house a scammer would want to use would most likely belong to a reporter. But that’s precisely what happened to a TV reporter from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.

    The reporter listed her home for rent on Zillow and only Zillow. After posting her home on Zillow, she received a text from a good Samaritan. The man who texted her said he found her home listed for rent on Craigslist. Not only did the Craigslist ad list the home for a cheaper rent, but the scammer was asking for an $80 application fee. The scammer had reportedly been talking to the man for two days before the man drove over to the property and called the number that was on the ‘for rent’ sign.

    Then the reporter did what reporters do, she began to investigate the phony listing. During her investigation, she also found her home listed for rent on Facebook Marketplace. As you might expect, she called the phone number listed in the phony ads. The scammer said he would meet with her to show her the home and would need $1000 for the security deposit. However, when it came time to meet, the scammer instead sent the reporter a link to the application and asked for the $80 application fee. The reporter even commented on how official looking the application was.

    The reporter called the scammer and asked him how long he owned the home, with the scammer replying two years. She then told the scammer she was both the owner of the home and a reporter. The scammer hung up the call, and when the reporter tried to call back, she only got the voicemail message.

    If you’re looking to rent or sell your home online, there’s not much you can do to prevent it being used in a scam. We have seen online listings where the seller states that the home is not listed on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. That may aid in discouraging renters from falling victim to a rental scam.

    We understand that there may be urgent situations requiring individuals to find a new home swiftly. However, regardless of the circumstances, it is crucial for potential renters to dedicate time to researching a property before making any financial commitments. One essential step is to determine the current rental rates for homes in the desired area. If a particular home seems remarkably affordable, exercising caution is advisable. Engage in a thorough web search using the property’s address to identify any other listings associated with different realtors and rental prices, as scammers often replicate legitimate real estate offers. Additionally, it is prudent to verify the true ownership of the property by consulting the county’s tax assessor office or website. By taking these precautionary measures, individuals can protect themselves from potential rental scams and ensure a safe and informed decision-making process.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 10, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace, , , , ,   

    Another family homeless after rental scam 

    By Greg Collier

    After mistakenly believing they had legitimately rented a home, a Florida family finds themselves homeless and forced to live on the streets. Tragically, stories like this are becoming far too common, as rental scammers continue to prey on families who are just looking for a roof over their heads.

    This family found a home for rent in their price range on Facebook Marketplace. The person who listed the home on Marketplace then directed the family to tour the home using an app called Rently. For those unfamiliar with Rently, it’s a service that allows prospective tenants to view and access rental properties without the need for a leasing agent or property manager to be present. Lockboxes are put on the doors of homes for rent or sale, and people who want to tour the home are given a combination to the lockbox, which has the keys in it.

    To get access to these homes, scammers will pose as prospective renters or buyers just so they can get the lockbox combination. Many realtors aren’t very good about changing the lockbox combinations, so scammers can use them repeatedly if need be.

    After the family toured the home and said they were interested in renting, the supposed landlord asked them for four months rent in advance, which came to an eye-watering $7000. Part of the payment was even asked for in eBay gift cards.

    After they moved in to the home, a sheriff’s deputy showed up at the door to inform the family they were trespassing and needed to leave.

    The home was available for rent, but was being rented out by a property management company.

    To add insult to injury, the family’s trailer that they were towing broke just a few feet after leaving the property.

    Just because an ad is listed on a multi-billion dollar platform like Facebook Marketplace doesn’t guarantee the listing is legitimate. Facebook was a haven for scammers long before Marketplace was implemented. Another red flag in this story is the landlord not being present during the home’s tour, or at any other time at all. And the biggest red flag was when partial payment was asked for in gift cards. As we are fond of saying, gift cards are the currency of scammers.

    We understand there are times when someone needs to find a new home quickly as possible. But no matter the reason, prospective renters should always take the time to research a property before paying any money. Research the going rate for rental homes in that area. If the home you’re looking at seems like a bargain, be suspicious. Do a web search on the address to see if other listings appear with different realtor names and rental prices, as scammers often copy legitimate real estate listings. And as always, you can check with the county’s tax assessor office or website to see who the true owner of the home really is.

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