Private selling applications like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace allow people to find some pretty good local deals on products they like to buy used, and in many cases this can result in a win for both the buyer and seller.
If you’re trying to sell something to a major retailer, they’ll usually undercut you on price so they can make a big enough profit margin that it’s “worth” keeping it on their shelves and selling it to someone else . And if you’re a shopper browsing through the merchandise at one of these retailers, you might be wondering whether or not you should buy the ‘used’ version of this item, or simply buy a little more for a brand new one. (Anyone who has shopped at Game Stop already knows the deal.)
If there’s one caveat with using services like Facebook Marketplace, it’s that you either come across low-ballers who annoy you to no end, or people who are outright trying to scam you. It’s usually pretty easy to spot one, but sometimes even the best of us can be duped.
TikToker Tarek Ali was shocked to have his eyes thrown in the dust and was stripped of his cash.
@itstarekali #greenscreen ♬ Original sound – Tarek Ali
He captioned the video, “I deserve it.”
“I just got scammed for the first time,” he begins the video with an incredulous look on his face. “I’m not even mad,” he says.
He starts his story by saying he has a lot of camera gear that he used to create YouTube videos, but a lot of the stuff was just sitting around his apartment, so he decided to sell it on Facebook Marketplace.
He ends up receiving a text from a woman named “Anna” whom he calls “Mrs. Con Artist Finest” and proceeds to share a screenshot of their conversation. The picture shows that she only has one post on IG and 4 followers.
“Anna” goes on to ask if he still has the Canon Rebel camera set and if it’s in “perfect” condition. She then asks for more pictures and videos, and Tarek is happy to oblige.
The scammer also demands that the lens be included in the package, which totals $770, and claims that they should have received an email confirmation from Zelle that they received the money. However, what Tarek hasn’t verified is whether or not the money has been credited to his bank account. Instead, he packed up all the equipment and sent it to Anna.
He asked her to add an additional $37 to the order because he was at the post office and that’s how much it cost to ship the gear.
A few days later, Tarek still hadn’t received the money. This is where the scam gets even more complicated. Anna tells him that he should have received another email from Zelle saying his account is a “personal” one and needs to be upgraded to a work account. In order to upgrade, she must send an additional $400, which he must return to her. She asks him to send the money back as she needs it for her rent and her daughter’s medication.
If that sounds like it doesn’t make sense, that’s because it doesn’t. Tarek tells Anna that he can cancel the cell transaction entirely and they can find another way to get the money. But Anna seemed to insist on using cell, and it was here that Tarek began to sense something was wrong.
He checked his cell transactions and did not see her name on the list of recipients/people he had transactions with. So he checked the cell support email he’d received, even though he knew in advance that the address was likely to be dud/spam. Sure enough it was: [email protected]
At the end of the video, he said he respected “the craftsmanship” and applauded scammers for “getting smart.”
He went on to tell Anna to “keep the camera,” but added that there was no way she would get the extra five hundred dollars.
Tarek’s case is unfortunately commonplace. The FTC reported that it received 2.8 million fraud reports in 2021 alone, and it’s safe to assume that number is much higher given that only 15% of online scams are ever reported.
In the comments, Tarek received a lot of criticism for falling victim to the scam, with many pointing out that there were clear signs Anna wasn’t a legitimate buyer. Some pointed out her low follower count, while others mentioned that he should have immediately checked his cell account and not the email, and that a standard rule of thumb to avoid phishing/scam attempts is to verify the actual E -Check mail address of correspondence coming from. Especially when it comes to money.
“She didn’t only have 4 followers, fam,” said one viewer.
“She’s so greedy, like you want the lens kit for free and extra cash on top,” argued another.
“Girlll so you must have money because the first thing I would have done was log into my bank app to see the number go up!!!” said a third user.
“You deserve it bro I’m sorry how did you fall for this in 2022,” wrote another, echoing Tarek’s feelings towards himself.
Others were happy to list the plethora of red flags about the transaction.
“That profile picture should have told you everything,” wrote one user.
“The first red flag is all Wells Fargo,” argued a second.
“As a first warning sign, she walked YOU through the process,” added another viewer.
Some pointed out to Tarek that even though he sent the package, he could “catch” the package by canceling it with the post office/delivery company he left it with, particularly because he paid for shipping and tracking number and had the receipt.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Tarek for further comment.
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*Initial publication: May 30, 2022 at 11:39 am CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/tiktoker-scammed-facebook-marketplace-zelle/ Facebook Marketplace Scammer Tricked TikToker With Fake Cell Email