What common money scams should I look out for when sending or receiving money in Facebook messages?
Payments in Facebook messages are only available in the US at this time.
In the rare case there is a money scam on Facebook, cyber criminals will either create fake accounts or hack into existing Facebook accounts of people you may know. The fake or compromised accounts will then try to trick you into giving them money by sending you personalized messages. Learn how to report scammers or suspicious activity in Facebook messages.
What are common types of money scams?
Here are common money scams you should look out for when sending or receiving money in Facebook messages:
- Romance scams: Romance scammers typically send romantic messages to people they don’t know, often pretending to be divorced, widowed or in a bad marriage. To pay for things like flights or visas, they'll engage in online relationships in hopes of receiving money. They may use photos they've found online of representatives from official institutions like the military or government agencies. Their goal is to gain your trust, so the conversations may continue for weeks before they ask for money.
- Lottery scams: Lottery scams are often carried out from accounts impersonating someone you know, or fake profiles pretending to represent an organization. The messages will claim that you're among the winners of a lottery and that you can receive your money for a small advance fee. The scammer may ask you to provide personal information, such as your physical address or bank details.
- Donation scams: These scams are done by accounts impersonating famous religious figures or by accounts pretending to be representatives from various charities or orphanages. In the messages, the scammers will ask for donations.
- Inheritance scams: The scammer will claim to be a lawyer or from another legal authority, pretending to represent the estate of a deceased person. The messages will state that you're entitled to the inheritance. The scammer may ask you to provide personal information such as your physical address or bank details.
- Loan scams: Loan scammers send messages and leave posts and comments on Pages and in Groups offering, or claiming to know someone offering, instant loans at a low interest rate for a small advance fee.
- Marketplace scams: Although eligible items purchased on Marketplace from sellers and stores using checkout on Facebook are covered by Purchase Protection, local pickup items using person-to-person payment methods are not covered. Facebook does not offer refunds for any person-to-person transactions. Always be cautious when using person-to-person transactions to purchase Marketplace items, especially if an item needs to be shipped. Learn how to buy and sell responsibly on Facebook. You can also learn more about the difference between buying something with checkout and local pickup.
What online behaviors should I look out for?
To protect yourself from scammers, look out for the following:
- People asking you for money who you don’t know in person
- People asking you for advance fees to receive a loan, prize, or other winnings
- People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook (example: a separate email address)
- People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency
- Poor spelling and grammatical errors