Buyers and sellers on Facebook Marketplace should exercise caution as reports of fraudsters targeting users of the platform increase, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said on Sunday.
Marketplace users should be careful in how they communicate with interested parties through Line or social media, as some fraudsters attempt to convince a target to initiate a money transfer online or through automated teller machines (ATM), the bureau said.
It said it recently received a complaint in which a woman attempting to buy an iPhone from a seller in Hong Kong transferred a large sum of money to the seller, but did not receive the phone.
After waiting several days the woman tried to contact the seller, but found that the post had been deleted and the seller had blocked her on social media, it said.
Sellers have also been targeted, it said.
A man surnamed Chiu (邱) was allegedly sent a fraudulent Internet link from a buyer who claimed it would connect Chiu to the customer service center of 7-Eleven’s delivery platform, it said.
After following instructions on the fake Web site, Chiu discovered that he had been defrauded of NT$30,000 (US$931.47), it said.
Sellers are often more vulnerable as they have to provide more information online to sell, and some buyers have new accounts, meaning sellers are unsure whether they are legitimate, it said.
“Any time a buyer claims that they cannot complete an order, and tells the seller that something must be done through an ATM — that should be a red flag,” it said, adding that those encountering suspicious requests should call the bureau’s anti-fraud line at 110 or 165.
In related news, data from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and the National Credit Card Center showed that credit card fraud related to leaked personal information has been on the rise since 2021.
Credit card fraud reached NT$2.24 billion last year, up 14.2 percent from NT$1.96 billion in 2021, the data showed.
In the first seven months of this year, it reached NT$1.69 billion, representing a 41 percent increase over the NT$1.2 billion reported in the same period last year.
“In the past, people would use physical means to steal credit card numbers along with the three-digit verification codes on the backs of the cards. These days they largely rely on phishing sites,” a bank manager who spoke on condition of anonymity said on Sunday.
The manager said that one bank customer’s information was stolen by a phishing site claiming to offer discounts on fast food.
As the number of such scams increases, so do the costs that banks are required to absorb related to the losses, the manager said.
The FSC on June 21 introduced response measures for banks to tackle fraud, such as requiring those binding credit cards to electronic-payment services to use the same phone number the bank has on file, and requiring that the bank confirm the cardholder’s identity when the phone number provided is different.
After a card has been bound to a service, the bank should send a mobile text message to inform the cardholder as an additional step to prevent fraud, it said, adding that banks have until the end of the year to implement the measures.
People should also be on the lookout for fraudulent text messages that appear to come from their banks, the bureau said.
FSC rules prevent banks from sending links to customers through mobile text messages that would require the customer to enter personal information, it said.
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