How to stay safe and avoid OfferUp scams

OfferUp Scams

When looking for things to purchase or selling stuff you don’t need, we often don’t think about the potential hazards such activity could invite. Scammers lurk online shopping sites, looking to scam the seller/buyer out of their money. OfferUp is an app that people use to sell their items at a discounted price. Whether it’s pretending to be a seller or a buyer, scammers can prey on the unsuspecting. Here’s how to stay safe and avoid OfferUp scams.

Types Of Offerup Scams

Fraudulent Check Scam

Scammers pretend to be buyers for a product. They send a fake check to the seller, telling them to use a portion of the check for the shipping and handling fees. The seller deposits the check, in the meantime getting repeated calls from the scammers. Finally, the latter demand that the seller sends the money to them via wire transfer.

If the seller refuses, the scammers threaten the seller, which causes the latter to become anxious. Finally, the seller agrees and sends all the money to the scammers. Subsequently, their bank account gets overdrawn since the check was fake.

Offerup Fake Websites              

A scammer creates a fake website that looks like an exact copy of OfferUp. The email is used for phishing links, while fake advertisements lure victims onto the website. Once the unsuspecting victim clicks on the links or advertisement, malware gets installed on their device. Then, there are fake items on the site that lull visitors into a false complacency.

When they click on these items to purchase them, it takes them to an online payment form. The form asks them to pay using a wire transfer, gift card, or fake check. Once the victim enters this information in and fills out their data, a scammer can use it to steal their identities and drain their bank accounts.

Code Verification Scam

A scammer pretends to be the buyer and tries to get the seller’s fake number. They come up with an excuse. They claim they need to text the seller a code to verify that they are a real person. Upon acquiring the seller’s phone number, they try to complete the purchase away from the app.

They do this to send the seller a fraudulent check. They sidestep the option of paying on the app. With the fake check, they ask you to deposit it and remit them part of the money. However, within a few days, the bank finds out that it’s a fake check, which then becomes the victim’s responsibility to pay them back.

Rushed Sales Scam

A scammer purports to be a salesperson in a hurry to sell a particular item. They come up with some ingenious excuse for why they need to sell their products in a hurry. Then, they insist that you need to pay for rushed shipping. Then, they promise that you’ll get the item super cheap since they don’t have time to negotiate the price.

Once you send over the money, the scammer blocks you without giving you the item in return. 

Multiple Postings Scam

A scammer makes multiple accounts on OfferUp scams, then posts the same listing on numerous accounts. The scammer tells people to email them about the listed purchase versus just purchasing the app. The same email is listed as the point of contact within each different account.

This shows that the same ring of scammers runs each account. Once people email them, they ask for a wire transfer or a gift card purchase. This renders the money trail untraceable.

Do Not Communicate With Someone Outside The App

Any buyer or seller wanting to communicate with you outside the app intends to scam you out of your money. Therefore, all purchases ought to be made within the app so that your purchase is secure. That way, if you don’t get the item you paid for, you always can report that back to the app. The scammer’s account will be deleted from OfferUp following the notification of the fake listing.

How To Avoid Offerup Scams

Only purchase items that are local to you. The farther out you purchase something, the more risk you take of it not getting shipped to you. A scammer can easily excuse himself, claiming that it got lost in the mail. However, if you purchase locally, you can retrieve your item from a safe place after meeting with the person.

Only make purchases on the official app. Do not wire money, or send/receive money via check, or send a gift card. When you send a scammer money these three ways, the purchase isn’t traceable. If you receive a check, most likely, it will be a fraudulent check, resulting in your owing the bank back all the money you have withdrawn. Only purchase something through the app’s secure payment form.

Examine the seller before making purchases from them. If the seller has multiple listings and great reviews, then you could trust them when it comes to purchasing their items. However, if you find an account with duplicate information, blurry images of their products, or instructions that you chat with them outside of the app, you would do best to stay away from them.

If someone is asking you to pay extra for shipping fees, don’t trust them. This is part and parcel of the fraudulent check scam, where they tell you to deposit the check and send some of the money over to them. If you do this, you would be responsible for paying your bank back since the check would be fake.

Eschew giving the buyer or seller any private information about yourself. With this personal information, the scammer can commit identity theft and pretend to be you. By purporting to be you, they could contact financial institutions to apply for credit cards and hack into your bank account.

Report any dubious postings to the app. If you spot multiple of the same post or spot something else suspicious, report it back to the OfferUp team before anyone falls prey to OfferUp scams.


These are some of the offerup scams. You’re responsible for your safety, so when you arrange a meetup, take sensible precautions. Should you be confronted with an emergency or any danger, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Before you meet –

  • Refrain from sharing confidential information with another person (i.e. passwords, social security number, banking information).
  • Don’t share your phone number. Chat through the OfferUp app.
  • Probe the person, product, and place.
  • Check out the other person’s profile. What do others say about them?
  • Look at the item photos. Ensure that they give you enough detail.
  • Select a safe place during a bustling time of day.

Always buy and sell in well-lit, monitored, public locations.

Should you need assistance, however, Fast Action Refund ( would gladly help.

Related Articles