What started as an attempt to earn some extra cash ahead of the holiday season turned into a warning and a $300 loss.
That’s right: I, the editor of a business publication that frequently warned our readers about the dangers of online scams, victim of a scam online,
The saga began with a sample sale, where New Yorkers like me go to buy products at steep discounts if we’re willing to peruse the endless racks of designs that aren’t sold in high-end stores.
If you’ve ever been to a show, you’ll know it’s pretty fierce. Not only do you struggle to find your size, there are also often no fitting rooms, leaving customers no choice but to buy the item they want and try it on when they get home. let’s hope
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unfortunately a pair of pink pants
The high-waisted ones, which cost me around Rs 150 on one of my adventures at one of these shows, they literally didn’t measure up to the occasion.
The pants sat in my closet for months taunting me, and with the holiday season approaching, I thought it was time to find them a new home and some extra cash.
I resorted facebook marketplace, something he had done many times before. Most of my furniture came off the shelf, and I even sold and traded some pieces myself.
I listed the pants on Facebook Marketplace for $150. After two days, Received an inquiry from what appeared to be a nice old lady named Nancy Andrews, She wanted the pants and said her cousin would pick them up at my apartment the next day.
He also assured that he will send me through payment the cell, Everything seemed quite normal till then.
I got a very legitimate looking email from what I thought was Zelle saying the buyer needed to send me $300 to upgrade my account to a business one. The buyer reportedly received the same email and was told he had no problem doing so as long as he agreed to refund the excess balance.
I, of course, agreed.
Then I received another email from the same Zelle address that looked legitimate to send the buyer $300 to confirm me as a business account. After doing so, he will receive a refund of $300 for it and $150 for the pants.
At this point, indecision began. However, the lady was very nice to me and said that this has happened to her before. I asked her to switch to Venmo and she said she trusts Zelle more because she has been scammed in the past.
After going back and forth I gave up. I just wanted to shed these pants and get on with my day. I sent everything to an email account provided by the buyer, but then I received another asking for more money. At that moment, I knew I was wrong.
i told the lady I refused to send more money And then he sent me several angry messages begging me to continue the process. He also sent me a screenshot of his bank account to prove that he had sent additional funds to upgrade my account.
He also called me several times and his tone was not pleasant.
I immediately called my bank and explained what had happened. Other than filing a report, I was told there was not much to do: These scams are common and are similar to a stolen car., If you get your money back, great, but unlikely.
I was also directed to file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to report the Facebook account I was communicating with. However, Facebook immediately contacted me and told me that they do not consider the account a threat and will allow it to remain active.
Shocked at how easily I had been duped, I began investigating the series of emails I received from Zelle Services. Since I was initially viewing the email on my phone, I never noted the email address the messages came from.
To my surprise, the address was firstname.lastname@example.org. now i think Won’t use an official Zelle contact Gmail account Nor would I spell “service” with two “I’s”—there’s only one “i” in it—in English.
Despite being clearly impersonated using the Zelle name, the company claims it “cannot help recover the funds”; However, “it is important to us that users have the ability to report this experience.”
Even though he was criticizing me for being the victim of a scam, I was not alone.
Data provider BeenVerified analyzed 165,000 scam complaints over the past 3 years and found that Facebook Marketplace scams increased by 184.8% in the last year, This makes them the fastest growing scam of 2022.
In one case, a Michigan woman lost $15,000 of her entire life savings to a car scam on Facebook Marketplace.
Additionally, Zelle scams were listed as the second fastest growing scams by BeanVerified Zelle scams increased by 86% this yearMany of which were linked to Facebook Marketplace listings.
Payment gateway transactions are encrypted, making it difficult for hackers to redirect payments in progress. But as a peer-to-peer payment provider, it makes it nearly impossible for people to recover stolen cash.
To deal with this dilemma, banks JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America And more are ready to roll out a standard plan to compensate customers who were misled by Zelle.
According to The Wall Street Journal, banks will share responsibility within Zelle’s system, and in the event of a scam, funds will be returned to victims’ bank accounts.
Other financial institutions – Zelle currently works with more than 1,800 – will have to agree to the new policy or risk being removed from its network. This policy may come into force early next year.
Operator Zelle Early Warning Services LLC claims scams account for only 0.1% of payments made on the platform, which were to total $490 billion in 2021.
In addition to Facebook Marketplace and Zelle, scams have become increasingly prevalent across the country. In 2021, people may lose $337 million due to non-payment and delivery scamsAccording to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report.
At the same time, scammers have become even more cunning.
“Technology has made it easier to do a better job of spoofing,” explains entrepreneur AJ Nash, ZeroFox’s Vice President of Intelligence. “It costs a lot less to buy a domain that looks like the real thing. It’s a misspelling, or they use a lowercase ‘L’ to replace an uppercase ‘I’. There are several different ways to set this up— There are different ways.”
From fake websites to email addresses, it doesn’t take long for something to look legit.
“The longer you go down those paths, if the antagonists tie things together and layer them, the more believable it builds,” he says. “If you believe the first, everything else will reinforce you as a potential victim.”
How to Avoid Online Scams
It is important to keep your eyes peeled during any transaction online,
Search inconsistencies in spelling and grammar, and view your transactions on a big screen to make sure you don’t miss a detail. Nash also suggests copying and pasting addresses and URLs into a document to make it easier to spot errors.
recommended have a different credit card for transaction online To prevent attackers from moving “laterally” through your other accounts, and to use different usernames and passwords for all of your accounts.
“If they trick you into entering a website and giving them your information, [para mucha] People, that means you owe them everything,” Nash says. “It’s a password and a username used for everything. It’s that time of year to remember passwords at random and use password management and two-factor authentication.”
The most important thing is to pay attention to the details and breathe. If I hadn’t been so nervous trying to make the transaction work, I could have saved $300. In short, my pants are still for sale.