LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is trying to get the word out to our community about people who are scamming others out of money by placing fake ads for items on social media.

You could be looking at some terrific deal on a used car or an RV. Scammers are looking to get big money from you with big-ticket items that are supposedly discounted, but in reality, they don't exist.

BBB President and CEO Chirs Babin issued advice today about making sure people are very careful when they decide to use social platforms to buy items. Deals can be very enticing when the price is super low, but don't fall for their trap.

The Scam Tracker feature on the BBB website has seen an uptick in the number of people in our area reporting they have been scammed out of money when using Facebook Marketplace. You can find terrific local deals on items you want, but you do have to be careful with a deal "that looks/sounds too good to be true."

These types of scams are everywhere.

What Are Some Red Flags You Should Look For?

What if you do see a great deal or you really want an item? Babin says to look for the following that might indicate you're going to get played:

  • The seller tries telling you they are in the military and have to sell fast scrutinize them carefully
  • The seller wants you to think they are in another country, ask why they would be on the local Facebook Marketplace
  • The seller tries to get you to pay them in gift cards
  • The seller wants to pay you will Zelle, Venmo, or PayPal

Babin says if any of these things pop up you should really consider if this person is trying to take your money. Many people use money apps, but it's advised that you find a safe place to make an exchange, that you take someone with you, and that you don't agree to turn over your money until you have the item in your hands.

Babin says unscrupulous people that are just trying to get your money will use tactics like those above. After they've got your money they will block your profile, and disappear from social media. He says some of these thieves will even pretend to be the shipping agent for your item, and they will ask you for more money.

If you do buy something, and you have lost money, Babin says you should contact law enforcement. After that, you can record what happened in the Scam Tracker section of their website.

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