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How to Avoid OfferUp Scams: Offerup Fake Sellers

Offerup app is just like any other marketplace app where you can sell or buy things online. OfferUp is a marketplace filled with local items that you can purchase for your daily life. But as an OfferUp user, you are still vulnerable to the OfferUp scammers that lurk in the dark on the OfferUpp app. Many scammers are also present on OfferUp, waiting to scam you out of your money. They will steal things from you and will give you nothing in return.

Photo Credit: Offerup

You should have the ability to recognize how scammers scam people not just on OfferUp, but anywhere online. If you can gain such an ability, you can avoid any scammer in existence. A scammer will most likely create an offer that will be too good to be true. They will lower the prices, increase their reputation via bots reviews, and will look like they are ideal merchants on OfferUp. But all of this is just a facade and a way to scam you. So, if you want to know how to avoid scammers and their scams, you will find this article helpful. I will share all the red flags that you should notice or look out for when dealing with the OfferUp app. Let’s get right into it.

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Offerup Fake Sellers: 6 Ways to Avoid Offerup Scams

1. Check if the merchant is verified

If a seller has not been verified on OfferUp, avoid having business with them. There is a very high possibility that this might be a potential scammer who is only here to steal your money. If you are a buyer on OfferUp, you should always be careful and double-check everything before you make a purchase. It doesn’t mean that a verified OfferUp seller will not be a scammer. But, it is still necessary to deal with a person who is verified on OfferUp. As a buyer, always deal with a verified selling merchant on OfferUp.

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The most common scams happen when you don’t look thoroughly at a seller’s profile. If a seller claims he is good, don’t just take his word for it. Go to his profile and check everything. How he is dealing with others, how he is responding to comments, how many items he sold, etc. Read the red flags of scammers as how they pressure you into making a transaction before meeting you in person. These are such common scams on OfferUp and they are so easy to manipulate you with. So, before making any transactions on the website or app, make sure you know who you are dealing with.

2. Don’t agree to deal outside of the OfferUp website or app.

Make no transactions outside of the OfferUp website or app. Transactions that you do on OfferUp are secured. As a buyer, you should be worried about where your transactions are happening, anyway. Offerup has its own app messaging system that you can use. It makes your transaction and deals secure and safe. Some of the OfferUp scams you might fall into if you deal outside of the website are cashier’s check scams, fake checks, wire payments, wire transfers, or counterfeit money scams.

Photo credit: OfferUp

If you agree to deal outside of the OfferUp website or app, you might put yourself in more danger than you will be on the website. Buyers are always at risk because you never know who the real person is behind that screen. Scammers come in all shapes and forms, so try to deal only on the website or OfferUp app. When money is involved, scammers can do many things. They might hurt you, steal from you, or even kidnap you. So don’t make mistakes that other buyers have done. Be safe and never deal outside of the OfferUp platform.

3. Notice the merchant’s products and descriptions

If a person really wants to sell something in an online marketplace, one thing he will make sure of is to get attractive products, photos, and descriptions. The seller may be a scam if you can’t see what he says on his profile. If a seller is selling something, he will create a sale pitch that will have no mistakes. For example, is the image quality of the product very low? Does it look photoshopped? Are there too many products with fewer descriptions? If you feel like all those things are present on a seller’s profile, then the seller might scam you out of your money.

If the seller is ignoring one thing that will make a sale of his product, then what do you make of it? Rushed or incomplete descriptions only show that the seller is hiding something. The seller is not telling you the truth about the products. A seller will sell things on a site and buyers will buy things on a site. That’s why OfferUp exists. But if the product looks or feels different from what the seller claims, well, it’s a sign of a scam soon to be happening.

No sellers will use a site or app for selling and not write excellent descriptions about their products. They want to attract buyers, not repel them. If they are making excuses to not let you inspect the product as a buyer, well, surely that person is probably thinking of scamming you. So, as a buyer, you should be very careful when dealing with OfferUp. Look closely at the photos and ask for details about the products. Ask questions if you have to and make sure everything is okay with the seller selling that item.

4. Check for the merchants’ behavior during conversation

As we mentioned, OfferUp has its own app messaging system that you can use to avoid OfferUp scams. OfferUp does not ask for verification codes at all. So if a person is asking you to give your personal information to them or verify some verification codes, it might be a potential scam. If someone asks you to give them a verification code so that they can verify your post, it is a scam happening. All this behavior of asking about you to verify posts, give your cell phone number, share payment details for a transaction, seek additional information from you unnecessarily, or force in-person transactions with you. They are all signs of scams that put buyers at risk of stealing not only their money but their personal information.

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Politely decline even if they try to sell you something at a very cheap price. Never share your phone number with anyone. As a buyer, you should be careful with whom you are sharing your personal details. Always suspect too good to be true offers. No one will put an expensive item at a sale price that is too good to be true. Whether you are on the site or app, read the seller’s behavior carefully. Is he polite, is he genuine, is he leaving some things out, is he getting personal, is he forcing you to do in-person transactions rather than on OfferUp, etc?

5. Look out for the price difference

Online marketplaces are where merchants are selling items locally or online. Of course, a place far from them will require shipping fees that need to be paid as well by the buyer. But you should look out for one important thing, the market value of the item. How high are the shipping fees compared to other vendors? Is the listed price justified by other items that are listed on OfferUp?

A site like OfferUp is filled with expensive items at the lowest possible prices to attract buyers to spend their money. Like eBay or Craigslist, scams can happen in this way as well on OfferUp. They lower the prices to lure you into their trap and after the transaction, they just vanish with your money and leave you with nothing. There is also a possibility that the expensive item might be a fake or a counterfeit item. Don’t go for cheap item listings, they’re too good to be true. Always check the seller’s landing page and look for reviews. If they are negative, go in the opposite direction.

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Also, they might create a fake convincing listing for you in exchange for an electronic gift card or wire payment. They might tell you they need an additional amount that needs to be paid in order to make a transaction. Don’t fall for it! Cash scams and fraud are common in online marketplaces. Always check the exact price before payment and make sure the price on the site is similar or near compared to other sites like eBay or Craigslist.

6. Check for any suspicious behavior

Most scams happen when you are not careful about reading the seller’s behavior. These scams happen when they ask for your phone number or a different address where they can contact you. Especially, they force you to share your phone number with them so that they can get more personal information about you. They might also entice you into an investment opportunity, like doing partnerships with them in their local businesses or just get rich schemes. More like rich scams and fraud!

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If you share your phone number with them, they might message you too. They might message you about all kinds of things that might lead to a scam. They might share a link with you with an attractive message. Never click on it! They are scripts made just to steal your data and bank account information. Sharing a suspicious link, asking for your phone number, and making contact with you via email address and phone all show suspicious behavior. A scammer won’t tell you he is a scammer, so always look for signs and red flags to identify them to avoid being a victim of a scam.


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What are the best times to shop on Offerup to avoid fake sellers?

The best time to shop on OfferUp would be during the daytime because that’s when you can meet them with lots of people around. Most scammers will list their fake items during the night when there are fewer people present. They can’t contact you during the day because they will get caught and many police stations will be ready to take them in. Also, if you are going to pay in cash, it’s better to do it during the day, rather than at night.

Fake sellers will often ask you to use a different carrier or pay more shipping costs as well. Some eBay scammers make you pay for such things when you search for the product that you need. They might contact you during the day as well ask you to pay more shipping fees even though you paid already. Never deal with an account like that, that makes you pay extra after the extra shipping fee. To avoid all such fake sellers on OfferUp, try to deal during the day, and make sure you pay the normal shipping fee, not extra.

Never deal with a seller account that won’t give you a refund as well. A refund is your right if you dislike the product or if it came broken. Of course, a scammer will never give you a refund and you can even report his account to OfferUp. But, he can open another account easily and still can scam people’s cash and hard-earned money.




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What are some common scams that fake sellers use?

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Common scams that can happen OfferUp are: requesting money over the western union, accepting only cash, asking you about personal information, charging extra shipping costs, sharing a malicious link in a message, and asking you to meet at a suspicious location, etc. These scammers search for ways that you never know so you can fall into their trap easily. They might change their ways depending on the person they are dealing with. But most common scams happen in these ways on OfferUp.

When you search for things on OfferUp, there might be items that seem too good to be true. Or a seller might get too personal and ask for personal information or they might convince you enough that their fake products are real. Remember to look out for these red flags and avoid them at all costs. Common scams are common, but they might scam you differently as well. You are never safe, but you can be careful by applying these tips and tricks to your advantage.

What should I do if the seller has poor reviews?

If a seller has poor or negative reviews, you should not deal with that merchant. Of course, not all people with negative reviews are bad. An online marketplace is a place for business and others might try to ruin someone’s reputation by bombarding it with negative reviews. There is so much competition in this world already and people try to get richer as quickly as possible. And how can they do that? By taking out the competition. So, it’s better to avoid sellers with negative reviews, but also to look closely at how negative they are. The reviews tell you the entire story.

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People who have dealt with them in the past might have left them some positive reviews as well. Look for the most recent ones. What do they say about the seller? Is it legit and are the items as described as the seller claims? If the reviews are too negative, then don’t even try sending them a message. They have already repelled all their customers and probably scammed some poor people. They took advantage of their need and now all that is left is just unpleasant business.


There are many red flags that you should notice when dealing in an online marketplace like OfferUp. A scammer is a human just like us, and they also make mistakes. It is our job to read those mistakes and gain an advantage over them so we can avoid losses. It is difficult nowadays to know who a scammer is and who is not, as endless possibilities are available to tweak profiles and reviews. A profile will be made so believable that even the smartest people can fall victim to scams online. But we are cleverer still and can avoid all that by looking at the signs.

The first sign that you should most definitely look out for is the price of the item that is being listed. If the price is very unrealistic and too good to be true, then clearly it might be a scam. For example, a double bed costs $500, and it is listed for only $40. Always search for other websites and know the market value of the item before purchasing.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Product descriptions and price both play an important role in avoiding being scammed. If they value their item too low as new or too high as used, it’s probably a scammer’s lame attempt to steal money off of you. If somebody really wants to sell something, they will make sure that the price is correct and realistic and the description of the item is well written.

Another red flag that clearly gives off the sign of a scammer is when they don’t share their physical address in their profile. If you don’t know where the seller lives, then a shipping scam might happen to you. They won’t ship you the product you purchased and will probably avoid contact with you.

Use our advice and tips to avoid being scammed on OfferUp. I hope you will find this article helpful and interesting. Let’s all be alert and avoid scams.

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