Leboncoin, Vinted, Facebook Market Place: Watch out for these PayPal payment scams

With this type of scam, the process can take months.
Scams on sales platforms are common. (© Photo illustration / Archive Jean-Paul BARBIER)

Clothing, computer equipment, furniture, etc. Whether it’s Le Bon Coin, Vinted or Market Place, many French people use platforms to resell their business. But money often lures… Fraud.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to be caught by scammers when selling an item online. And especially on the Facebook Market Place, a scam has been raging for several years: payment via PayPal.

“This is not a new phenomenon, we see it very regularly,” notes Jean-Jacques Latour, director of cybersecurity expertise at Cybermalveillance, in an interview with Actu.fr:

Lots of people get tricked. Recently we have seen many scams on Vinted. Women are the main victims.

Jean Jacques LatourCyber ​​Security Expert

What is this scam? reply article.

The victim = the seller

As with (very) many scams, the process is always the same. Here the victim is the seller. Under a false identityThe scammer sends a message to the seller on the platform (Facebook, Vinted, etc.) just a few minutes after the item is put online.

Very quickly and often without asking for details about the quality of the product offered for sale, the scammer indicates that he is buying this product and that he will pay for it (without negotiating) over Paypal. Better he proposes to advance the shipping costs.

Request only? The seller must create a PayPal account. And this is where the scam takes shape. “Once this account has been created, the victim will receive an SMS (or email) from Paypal containing a link that needs to be clicked. This refers to fake website »explains the expert.

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Once on this fraudulent page, the seller will be asked to submit their bank details in order to be able to receive the funds allegedly deposited by the buyer/scammer on PayPal, but also their PayPal identifiers as well as their password. So the scammer can restore them and the scam is played.

Sometimes the scammer will even state that it may take several days for the money to reach the seller’s pocket in the “fake” Paypal account and for the item to be shipped within that time. When the seller sends it, he will never see the color of these so-called funds, let alone see the item sent again.

What is PayPal?

Born in the United States, Paypal is a worldwide online payment platform. Its use is free.
All you have to do is create an account on the said platform and link it to either your bank card or bank account to carry out the transactions.
A user can also fund their PayPal account and make payments using their code.

Always better scams

On News.frwe made it experience of this scam (without going all the way). On Sunday evening, a computer product was put online in the marketplace. Within 48 hours, 15 people expressed interest in the item, which was sold for 150 euros.

All with the same wish: paying for the purchase via Paypal “the safest way”, according to interested buyers. And the, without asking if the item is in good condition as shown in the photo below.

Exchange of conversations between seller and
Exchange of conversations between seller and “crooks” (©Capture Messenger / Actu.fr)

Which put a chip in our ear. We then decide to take a look at these Facebook profiles to try and get a little more information about the sellers. While it was obvious that some felt the scam immediately (a profile photo of a woman but with a male first name, a Facebook profile with two “friends” and no recent publications, etc.), others seemed – almost – sincere.

Also, on some profiles there could be family photos, shared recipes, travel pictures… something (maybe) to reassure the seller about the veracity of the profiles.

It’s done quite well and the profiles, especially on Facebook, are very well constructed with a story that we create. Scammers rack their brains to make everything believable! That’s why everyone is fooled

Jean Jacques Latour

Who are these scammers?

While browsers are the most prominent online scammers, “we’re in here Level 2″ Grazer, notes Jean-Jacques Latour. Implied to be “casual” scammers, independent profiles rampant in French-speaking countries.

“Some might even be based in France.” Scammers, difficult to identify as dematerialized payments, are commonplace. It is essential for the victims file a complaint.

The more complaints there are, the more publicized the phenomenon becomes and the more resources we can use to stop the scammers.

Jean Jacques Latour

How not to be available?

If you find yourself in such a situation, Never click on the link sent by SMS or email from PayPal. “If you don’t have a Paypal account, it’s better to go directly through the platform (like Le Bon Coin or Vinted) to get paid.”

On the other hand, if you have a Paypal account, go straight there to check if the money has been paid. If you don’t receive anything, it may be a scam.

Last tip: for dematerialized sales, prefer payment by bank transfer for greater security. Even if this one is it a little riskier : Either the buyer sends the money before receiving the package, or the seller sends the package without having received the money.

A risk that you (perhaps) have to take in order not to fall into the trap.

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