More FB Marketplace fraud, this time from New Zealand

07 Apr 2017

If Facebook thought that its new Marketplace app might be immune of the kind of scams and fraud that have plagued more established buy-and-sell sites, such as Craigslist and Kijiji, over the years, the last few months have proved decidedly otherwise.

Nearly from the start, reports of trouble have surfaced at Facebook Marketplace. We shared some of those stories – including a string of robberies and items never delivered – back in December.

The latest grumblings come from New Zealand, where the website Stuff said local police have warned shoppers to “take extra care, after several complaints of swindled money and the sale of stolen goods were made”.

Nelson Police crime prevention Senior Sergeant John Price said, there were no checks and balances in place to protect New Zealand shoppers on Facebook Marketplace and some people had found themselves out of pocket. “You just put something up and someone makes an offer. You don’t even have to have an identity,” he said.

Perhaps Facebook Marketplace needs to appoint its own version of Craig Newmark, the well-known founder of Craigslist, but whose official title at the company remains “Customer service representative.”

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.