5 Scams to Watch Out For on OfferUp (2022)

When looking for things to purchase, or selling things you don’t need, we often don’t think about the potential hazards that could come from this. Scammers lurk online shopping sites, looking to scam either the seller or buyer out of their hard-earned cash. OfferUp is an app that people use to sell their items at a discounted price for buyers to purchase. Many scammers know about this app and find clever ways to trick people out of their money. Whether it’s pretending to be a seller or a buyer, many scammers are usually unnoticed by many people who fall for their scams. Here are some things to watch out for.

Types of OfferUp Scams

5 Scams to Watch Out For on OfferUp (1)

Fraudulent Check Scam

Scammers pretend to be buyers for a product. They send a fake check to the seller telling them to use a portion of the check for the shipping and handling fees. The seller deposits the check and keeps getting multiple calls from the scammer. The scammers demand that the seller send the money to them via wire transfer.

If the seller refuses, the scammers threaten the seller which causes them to feel fearful. The seller agrees and sends all the money to the scammer. Because of this, their bank account gets overdrawn since the check was fake.

OfferUp Fake Websites

A scammer creates a fake website that looks exactly like OfferUp. They email phishing links and create fake advertisements that will lure victims onto these websites. Once the victim clicks on the links or advertisement, malware gets installed on their device without them knowing about it. Then, there are fake items on the site that trick victims into thinking they can purchase these items.

When they click on these items to purchase them, it takes them to an online payment form. The form asks them to pay using a wire transfer, gift card, or fake check. Once the victim enters this information in and fills out their personal information, a scammer can use it to steal their identities and drain their bank accounts.

Code Verification Scam

A scammer pretends to be the buyer and tries to get the seller’s phone number. They come up with an excuse that allows them to pretend they need to text them a code in order to verify that they are a real person. Once they get the seller’s phone number, they try to complete the purchase away from the app.

They do this so that they can send the seller a fraudulent check instead of paying on the app. With the fake check, they then ask you to deposit it and send them part of the money. However, the bank finds out within a few days that it’s a fake check which becomes the victim’s responsibility to pay them back.

(Video) Five Ways To Avoid Offerup Scams!

Other Types of Offerup Scams to Watch Out For?

There are a few different types of scams that you need to watch out for on this platform. By being vigilant and identifying those scams, you can secure your safety, time, and money when using the app.

These are some of the OfferUp scams you need to avoid:

  1. Fake website scam: A scammer constructs a bogus website that appears to be this app and sends a malware link via email, and generates fake commercials to encourage people to visit these websites. When a victim clicks on a link or advertisement, malware is placed on their device without their knowledge.
  2. Deceiving check scams: The scammer pose as buyers of a brand then deliver a fake check to the seller, instructing them to deduct a portion of the payment for shipping and handling. When the seller settles the check, then the scammers request that the seller should transfer the funds to them.
  3. Code confirmation scams: If the seller disagrees, then the scammers intimidate the seller into making them afraid. The seller then accepts and gives the entire sum to the scammer, and as a result of the fraudulent check, their bank account gets overdrawn.
  4. Inconceivable offer scams: Scammers make offers that sound too good to be true and may ask the seller to do something like wire transfer money before they can ship the product. Once the seller agrees, the scammer never sends the product and disappears with the money.
  5. Bogus rush purchase scams: A scammer portrays a salesman in a rush to sell a specific item. They invent some brilliant reason why they need to sell their stuff quickly. Then they claim that you will obtain the goods at a very low price because they do not have the opportunity to discuss the pricing.
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Rushed Sales Scam

A scammer pretends to be a salesperson in a hurry to sell a particular item. They come up with some clever excuse as to why they need to sell their products in a hurry. They tell you that you need to pay for rushed shipping. In return, they promise that you’ll get the item super cheap since they don’t have time to negotiate the price.

Once you send over the money, the scammer blocks you without giving you the item in return. The item is usually fake and the picture was stolen from somewhere else.

Multiple Postings Scam

A scammer makes multiple accounts on OfferUp, then posts the same listing on multiple accounts. The scammer tells people to email them about the listed purchase versus just making the purchase on the app. Within each different account, the same email is listed as the point of contact.

(Video) TOP 5 COMMON SCAMS ON OFFERUP! 2021 | Tips, Tricks & Secrets!

This shows that the same ring of scammers runs each account. Once people email them, they ask for a wire transfer or a gift card purchase. They do this so that the money trail is untraceable, making it nearly impossible for victims to get their money back.

DO NOT Communicate With Someone Outside the App

Any buyer or seller wanting to communicate with you outside the app is looking to scam you out of your money. All purchases should be made within the app so that your purchase is secure. That way if you don’t get the item you paid for, you can report that back to the app. By reporting the fake listing, the scammer’s account will be deleted from OfferUp.

How to Avoid OfferUp Scams

  • Only purchase items that are local to you. The farther out you purchase something, the more risk you take of it not getting shipped to you. A scammer can easily come up with an excuse, claiming that it got lost in the mail. However, if you purchase locally you can meet up with the person at a safe place and retrieve your item there.
  • Only make purchases on the app.Do not wire money, send a gift card, or send/receive money via check. When you send a scammer money these three ways, the purchase isn’t traceable and it makes it near impossible for you to get your money back. If you receive a check, most of the time it will be a fraudulent check and you’ll end up having to owe the bank back all the money you have withdrawn. Only purchase something through the app’s secure payment form.
  • Research the seller before making purchases from them. If the seller has multiple listings and great reviews, then I would trust them when it comes to purchasing their items. However, if you find an account with duplicate information, blurry images of their products, or they are instructing you to chat outside of the app, I would stray away from them.
  • If someone is asking to pay extra for shipping fees, don’t trust it. This is usually part of the fraudulent check scam, where they tell you to deposit the check and send some of the money over to them. If you do this, you will most likely find out that the check is fake and you will be responsible for paying your bank back.
  • Don’t give the buyer or seller any personal information about yourself. With this personal information, the scammer can commit identity theft and pretend to be you. By pretending to be you, they could contact financial institutions to apply for credit cards and hack into your bank account, stealing all your funds.
  • Report any suspicious postings to the app. If you spot multiple of the same post or you spot something else fishy, report it back to the OfferUp teambefore anyone has the chance to be a victim of OfferUp scams.
  • mine the seller or buyer: Check the feedback on the application. If they have many great reviews, then they are probably legit. One without a review raises suspicions, and to be extra safe, research the user to see if any complaints come up.
  • Use only platform cash payment: This should be the only site to pay for items that need to be sent. You can’t take checks or wire transfers. If you choose another method, the funds won’t be traceable, and fraud investigations outside of service will be more difficult.
  • Maintain transaction within the app: All communications should be kept within this app. If another user requests your contact form or email address, then politely decline and cease chatting with them. You don’t want them contacting you outside of the platform because they may have malicious motives.
  • Meet in a public area to trade items: This platform features a program called Community Meetup Spots. These are well-lit, documented local businesses and police stations recognized by OfferUp as the safest locations to meet someone to finalize a sale.
  • Examine the seller or buyer: Check the feedback on the application. If they have many great reviews, then they are probably legit. One without a review raises suspicions, and to be extra safe, research the user to see if any complaints come up.
  • Use only platform cash payment: This should be the only site to pay for items that need to be sent. You can’t take checks or wire transfers. If you choose another method, the funds won’t be traceable, and fraud investigations outside of service will be more difficult.
  • Maintain transaction within the app: All communications should be kept within this app. If another user requests your contact form or email address, then politely decline and cease chatting with them. You don’t want them contacting you outside of the platform because they may have malicious motives.
  • Meet in a public area to trade items: This platform features a program called Community Meetup Spots. These are well-lit, documented local businesses and police stations recognized by OfferUp as the safest locations to meet someone to finalize a sale.

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FAQs

How do scams work on OfferUp? ›

Overpayment Scams

Use the OfferUp app for shipping transactions. Otherwise, you could be susceptible to another check scam that involves bad actors sending more than the agreed amount and asking for a refund of the overpayment. You could be out of hefty sums and also be penalized by the bank for the bad check.

How do you tell if a seller is legit on OfferUp? ›

What are some red flags that I might be dealing with a scammer?
  1. Amazing deals on expensive items (a brand new iPhone for $20!)
  2. Postings that only have manufacturer or stock photos.
  3. New account with zero history or transactions.
  4. Account with negative reviews.
  5. Links to purchase outside of original OfferUp website or app.
23 Mar 2022

Should you give your phone number on OfferUp? ›

Avoid Communicating Outside of the OfferUp App

By using the app's messaging system, you'll never expose your email address or phone number, which can lead to many common scams.

What can someone do with your phone number? ›

The Top 8 Ways Hackers Use Your Phone Number Against You
  • Rerouting your messages.
  • Stealing your personal information.
  • SIM swaps.
  • Text scams and spyware.
  • Doxxing that leads to harassment and fraud.
  • Blackmail using your sensitive data.
  • Spoofing caller ID numbers.
  • Preying on your family.

Should you give your address on OfferUp? ›

We ask members of our community to take their personal wellbeing as seriously as we do by making good decisions about how and where to buy and sell. Avoid phishyness. Please don't give away personal information such as email, phone number, or address. Use in-app messaging to communicate securely.

Can you get scammed through OfferUp? ›

Shipping scam

“If you remain within the app, you are less at risk, since OfferUp manages the shipping process.” In another variation of this scam, the seller may offer to cover the shipping fees and then ask to send you an invoice to cover the cost. They may also suggest using a different shipping service.

How to Avoid getting scammed on OfferUp? ›

OfferUp recommends only communicating with other users in the app to avoid being lured into a scam. There's never a reason to provide your phone number, email address, or a chat username to any OfferUp user. Stay away from ″investment opportunities″ and ″get rich quick″ schemes.

How do you stay safe on OfferUp? ›

Safety tips
  1. Never share confidential information with another person (i.e. passwords, social security numbers, banking information).
  2. Don't share your phone number. Chat through the OfferUp app! Follow our tips for messaging.
  3. Research the person, product, and place. Check out the other person's profile.
19 Sept 2022

Which is better OfferUp or Letgo? ›

Letgo has nearly double the amount of users (around 74 million) and is considered the largest and fastest growing marketplace app. Just because Letgo has more users doesn't automatically mean it's more popular than OfferUp in your area. To gauge local popularity, install both apps, then browse available items.

What can a scammer do with your Google Voice verification code? ›

Google Voice Scams: What Can Someone Do With Your Google Voice Code?
  • Commit crimes that can be traced back to you.
  • Scam your friends and family using your phone number.
  • Open new accounts in your name.
  • Take over your online accounts using verification codes.
  • Harvest more sensitive information to steal your identity.
15 Sept 2022

Why does OfferUp need my Social Security number? ›

Beginning in calendar year 2022, if you sell over $600 worth of items using OfferUp's online payments for shipping, you'll be prompted in the OfferUp app to provide your full Social Security number and address to our payment processor (Stripe) for tax reporting purposes, per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Is Zelle safe for OfferUp? ›

Zelle is safe, as long as you know and trust the person you're sending money to. Once you authorize a payment, it'll go through, and there's no form of fraud protection. Zelle runs through your personal bank's digital infrastructure, so it's as secure as your bank.

Can I send you a code to know you are real? ›

“Can I send you a code to make sure you're not a fake?” Don't be fooled- the person sending the texts knows you aren't the scammer, but wants to scam you. Sgt. Keith Horrocks says scams like this one have been pretty pervasive since the advent of the internet.

When you block someone on OfferUp Can they still see your messages? ›

If someone is bothering you, you can block them. You won't receive further messages from them and any current message threads you have with them will also disappear. You'll still be able to see their items, and they'll be able to see yours, but you won't be able to send each other offers or messages.

Is buying through OfferUp safe? ›

Sellers on OfferUp are not only protected by our policies and partnerships, but also by our world-class fraud detection, automation, machine learning, and data models that make OfferUp the simplest, most trusted way to buy and sell. OfferUp teams are working full time to block and mitigate fraudulent behavior.

How do you stay safe on OfferUp? ›

Safety tips
  1. Never share confidential information with another person (i.e. passwords, social security numbers, banking information).
  2. Don't share your phone number. Chat through the OfferUp app! Follow our tips for messaging.
  3. Research the person, product, and place. Check out the other person's profile.
19 Sept 2022

Is OfferUp payment safe? ›

Shop safely

When paying and getting items shipped through OfferUp's system, you'll be covered by OfferUp's 2-Day Purchase Protection program. By keeping your transaction inside OfferUp, and not using an external payment or shipping service, OfferUp can help protect you from fraud and theft.

Are there car scams on OfferUp? ›

The cars for sale on OfferUp may not be legitimate. Unfortunately, scams are common on OfferUp -- especially for big-ticket items like vehicles. OfferUp simply doesn't have the robust vetting or security features of sites like PrivateAuto.

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