RAYNE, La. — The Rayne Police Department is looking into several complaints after residents have been scammed via Facebook Marketplace.
The department posted an update on Facebook saying "In each of the incidents, the scammer placed an item for sale, usually for about $100, and offered to deliver the item after receiving payment."
After the interested buyers sent the seller the money via a third-person app, the delivery never came, and the selling account was usually deleted.
RPD says that in order to not fall victim to this situation, it is important to not send any money until you are in possession of the item you've purchased. Additionally, they are encouraging users to pay via Facebook Checkout, PayPal, or other platforms that protect against scams.
They are offering the public the option of meeting with sellers or buyers on the department's parking lot or within their lobby.
Captain Tony Olinger with RPD says these types of scams aren’t new.
“This scam came up years ago with craigslist…” said Olinger. “Now Facebook marketplace is the active place to buy items and sell items.”
There’s also another type of scam, where a local business says a person won a giveaway, perform a service and then charge the winner after the fact.
Laiha Moreau says she fell victim to a scam for eyelash extensions. After the fact, she says she has a hard time trusting people.
“I really can’t trust just anybody, based on that experience,” said Moreau. “It makes me feel untrustworthy of people. And that’s kind of sad when you live in the Acadiana community where people are nice every day.”
Olinger says some of these scams are hard to track based on where they are operating from.
He says to keep a couple of things in mind when purchasing items on these forums.
“If the item is too good to be true, the price is too good, it probably is,” said Olinger. “If it is not a site that you can pay and can track or have some protection, then don’t do it. Never buy an item if you can’t see it in your hands, and you know what you’re buying.”
The full Facebook post from RPD is below.
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