Area law enforcement agencies say they’re seeing an uptick in scams involving online marketplaces and so-called “swap” pages.
They say the most common scam involves the fraudster advertising an item or service, with a price that is “too good to be true.” The fraudster then engages the victim in conversation about the items, and requests deposit or payment to be paid via Venmo, or another online payment service. When the victim sends the payment to the Venmo account provided by the fraudster, the fraudster will claim they didn’t receive the payment, even though the payment was processed out of the victim’s account. The victim will then receive a text message purporting to be from Venmo, that the transaction did not go through, when in reality, the text message is coming from the fraudster using a different number. The fraudster will continue to push the victim to send “another deposit,” or more money for the item, which does not in fact even exist. In some cases, the Venmo accounts being used by the fraudsters have different names than the Marketplace sellers.
Authorities say if a price seems too good to be true, chances are it’s nothing but a scam.
(thanks to Community First Broadcasting sister station KUOO in Spirit Lake)