OfferUp Scams And How to Avoid Them Guide 2022

UX/UI Designer at - Adobe

OfferUp is a marketplace for buying and selling goods and services. Recently, there have been reports of scams on the platform. This guide will teach you how to avoid being scammed on OfferUp so that you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience using the platform.

The “offerup shipping scams” is a scam that has been around for quite some time. The “offerup shipping scams” will offer you a free item, and then ask you to pay for the shipping cost.

Similar to eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp is a local marketplace powered by mobile technology.

The app has benefits, such as the fact that the majority of purchasers are nearby and that the business works with local law enforcement to arrange secure “Community Meet Up” locations where transactions may take place.

But like with any online market, dishonest people will try to con innocent consumers out of their goods or their hard-earned money.

I describe the many frauds you could see on OfferUp in this post, along with the best defenses against them.

Offerup Scams: What to Look Out For

The evil guys will attempt to steal your hard-earned money or things from you using a variety of schemes.

If you’re the purchaser


A phony website imitating the real OfferUp website is made by scammers. A link to the bogus website will then be sent through email, and the bad actor may also promote it on other websites, social media platforms, and other internet areas.

The bogus website will infect your device with malware the moment you (the victim) click on the link to access it. The false OfferUp website will offer bogus goods on the site in addition to the virus to attract you into trying to buy these goods.

You’ll reach an online payment page when you try to purchase the item, where you may (supposedly) choose to pay with a wire transfer, gift card, or electronic check. The details of your payment card may also be requested.

This enables the con artists to siphon money from your bank account, use your credit or debit card fraudulently, or steal your identity.

The scam called “In A Hurry to Sell”

The scammer will behave as if they are eager to sell anything.

The con artist will invent a justification for why they need to sell the goods quickly, and they’ll insist that you pay for expedited delivery. They’ll offer you the goods at a steep discount to make up for the additional delivery fee.

The fraudster will ban you on the app and never provide the thing you purportedly ordered once you paid the needed cash.

Scam of Multiple Postings

The identical ad is posted on many scammer-created OfferUp seller accounts. The contact information for each account is the same email address.

Then, instead of hitting the Buy button, the con artist instructs readers to write them with questions regarding the advertised goods. 

The con artist will then request payment from the customer by wire transfer, gift card, or another means that makes it difficult for purchasers to get their money back. This enables the bad actor to sell the same item more once while never really delivering anything.

Used-Car Scams

Be on the lookout for Used-Car Scams.

The automobiles are being sold using a phony VPN number and/or a fraudulent title and are priced well below market value.

As the seller planned to track the car to the buyer’s location and take it in order to sell it again, purchasers have sometimes discovered GPS trackers installed in the car.

Call toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), text “fraud” to TIP411 (847411), or fill out a form on the NICB website to report insurance fraud or car theft anonymously.

When You Are the Buyer

Code Verification & Bad Check Scam

A scammer using OfferUp will pretend to be a buyer interested in an item you’re selling and try to gain your (the seller’s) phone number.

The bad man will then devise a justification for texting you, maybe stating that they must transmit a code to confirm that you are a genuine person. A malicious link created to steal your OfferUp username and password or other information will then be sent back by them.

Then, rather than making a payment via the app, the con artist will mail you a bad check. Typically, the check is for more money than was actually paid for the purchase. They will then demand that you just return the excess cash.

Later, when the bad check bounces, you may also be required to pay a bad check charge to your own bank in addition to losing the “overpayment” and the goods you placed up for sale.

Scam Using Fake Money

If you’re not an expert at spotting fake currency, it may be difficult to thwart this fraud.

You arrange a time and location to meet in order to complete the deal when the buyer (i.e., scammer) accepts your price. When the con artist arrives, they pay for your goods using crisp, brand-new (but regrettably fake) banknotes.

Before utilizing the money to make a purchase or before depositing it in the bank, you are unaware that the banknotes are fake. The object and the money are now both gone.

How to Prevent OfferUp Fraud

On OfferUp, there are a variety of ways to run into scammers, and there are a variety of strategies to assist you to avoid falling for those scams.

Keeping Conversations Inside the OfferUp App Only

A buyer or seller should never be contacted outside of the app. 

Within its app, OfferUp offers a chat system. This is done to protect both buyers’ and sellers’ security.

You won’t ever give up your phone number or email address by utilizing the chat feature of the app, protecting yourself from numerous typical frauds.

Avoid Being Duped by the “Verification Code” Scam

Don’t provide your mobile phone number if they want to email you a “verification link” instead. OfferUp does not validate postings using verification codes.

The “Too Good to Be True” Pricing Scams should be avoided.

Any bargain that seems too good to be true should be avoided.

Deals that seem “too good to be true” include new $30 iPhones, $40 computers, and any other expensive item at an unrealistically low price. 

Selling popular graphics cards for less than usual is one of the most well-known scams at the time this article was written. Due to component shortages and other problems, several of these cards often sell for much higher prices.

Just buy local products

The likelihood that you won’t get an item increases the farther it is from your location.

In an effort to convince you to give up on receiving the item or a refund, a con artist may provide several justifications for not mailing the item or making the claim that the box was lost in the mail.

If you buy anything locally, you may meet the vendor in person and immediately pick it up.

Do Your Research Before Purchasing from the Seller

Verify a seller’s profile at all times. Look for evaluations that are both numerous and positive. This could ease your mind.

Look out for accounts that want communication outside of the app, have duplicate information or have fuzzy product photos.

Think carefully before purchasing from the merchant if you see any of these.

Make All Purchases Through the App

Only use the OfferUp app or website to make an electronic payment for your item.

Never give or receive money through wire transfer, gift card payment, or cheque. The more difficult it will be to get your money back, the less traceable a payment is.

As was already indicated, there is a very strong probability that if you get a check, it will bounce like a rubber ball and you will wind up paying your bank for the money you withdrew in addition to bad check fees.

Never accept excessive money for shipping costs.

Scammers often submit checks that are bigger than the combined cost of the item plus postage.

They’ll say they made a mistake and, rather than sending you a new check, urge you to deposit the original one and give them a check for the overpayment as compensation.

If you do this, you will be left holding a rubber check and liable for compensating your bank for the bogus check.

Never provide any personal details about yourself to anybody.

Never provide any personal details about yourself to anybody. 

The more details you provide a con artist, the simpler it will be for them to pose as you and steal your identity.

Bad men may apply for credit cards in your name and access your bank or savings account to steal your hard-earned money if they have access to enough personal information.

Inform OfferUp of Suspicious Postings

Please get in touch with OfferUp if you see a listing or the seller isn’t being honest, such as when the same item is listed more than once.

This makes it more likely that no other purchasers will fall for a con.

Use a strong password to protect your account.

Two-factor authentication is a service that OfferUp provides.

To finish the login procedure, you need a second piece of login information. Your device will get a number or alphanumeric code, which you must input on the OfferUp login page.

As a result,

While OfferUp offers a great option to acquire products for less, you run the risk of being duped and losing money or stuff if you use the app to buy or sell anything.

Fortunately, you may protect yourself against con artists by paying attention to the ads and investigating the vendors and buyers.

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