(WHTM) — Looking for a great deal? Then you might be looking at Facebook Marketplace. But, if you do, be careful. Some of those deals are too good to be true.
Mark and Kathy Fisher were looking for a new patio set. Prices were high though. So, they scrolled Facebook Marketplace until they found a great deal from Home Depot.
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“(It said) Furniture, unclaimed furniture, returned furniture, in the warehouse, must move,” Fisher said. “I believe it was normally $175. And it was for sale for $39.”
The advertisement had lots of photos and details, so the Fishers believed it was legitimate.
“Extremely legitimate, because it had Home Depot written all over it,” Fisher said.
So, they placed the order but got a PayPal response with Chinese characters. No patio set, and no response to their emails.
It turns out it wasn’t really Home Depot that had posted the ad. Someone had compiled the store’s logo and pictures of the patio set, and posted it on Facebook Marketplace, looking to lure a victim.
Home Depot tells us it is aware of these fake ads. Meantime, the Better Business Bureau’s Sarah Wetzel said online purchase scams are common with thousands of complaints each year.
“Impersonation is one of the key factors of what scammers love to do. They love to impersonate those well-known companies because that way they already have a foot in the door with the consumers,” Wetzel said.
Before clicking a social media ad, Wetzel said to take a close look at the URL to make sure it is a legitimate business.
They may just change one letter in there. M’s and N’s look very closely alike,” Wetzel said.
Wetzel says it may be a scam if:
- Items are advertised at a much lower price than in the store
- You find spelling or grammatical errors
- The business address seems wrong.
If the price is just too low, ask questions. This way, you don’t waste your money.