Sometimes these reminders need to be said: MUCH of social media, in particular Facebook, consists of scam ads. The too-good-to-be-true advertisements that show up in your feed usually are. 

 If you see a marvelous product you want with a really low price and free shipping, use your head. Use Google to search the product, and you’ll usually find the real thing is much more expensive, or is something being crowdfunded at a much higher price and doesn’t exist yet. I clocked about 30 of these in my feed in the past week.

But it’s way more than that. Individuals selling items — toys, puppies, phones, whatever — that insist on unorthodox pay methods ARE SCAMMERS.

If someone asks you to prepay or make a down payment via PayPal, that’s fine; pay for it as a purchase, which gives you protection so you can get a refund through PayPal if necessary. If the seller insists on PayPal’s “Friends and Family” option, offer to pay the 3% PayPal processing fee. If she STILL Insists you can only pay by “Friends and Family,” which offers you zero protection, it’s a scam. If she insists on prepayment via CashApp or Venmo or any other option that doesn’t offer you protection, it’s a scam.

If the seller pivots to any variation of, “I wouldn’t cheat you, I’m a Christian,” it’s a scam. (History has shown some of the worst crimes perpetrated on humanity have used religion as their justifications.)

Meeting up in a parking lot to trade cash for a purchase? Do it in a Police Station parking lot. (If you’re in Clermont, FL, there’s a big, bright parking lot at the Police Station where they encourage transactions there.)

Think. Plan. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If it sounds “off,” it is.


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