There are a lot of great platforms online these days. You can find just about anything that you may have been thinking of through one of these platforms. But when dealing with people, no matter the platform, there is always a question of scams.
For LetGo (now part of OfferUp), a place where people can sell used items or new items they don’t want, the question is, “can you get scammed?” The unfortunate answer is yes. You can get scammed on LetGo. People can be dishonest no matter what avenue you go through.
As I search for ways to make money, I am always concerned with scams. Thankfully, there are more than a few things that you can do to avoid getting scammed on LetGo (or any platform, for that matter).
Only Work with Verified Users
This is a rule of thumb for just about any platform out there, LetGo included. Whenever you deal with users who are totally new to the platform or unverified, you run the risk of being scammed. The unfortunate part for new sellers is that everyone has to start somewhere, and new users tend to get an untrustworthy rap.
As a buyer, you can skew toward safety by using a verified LetGo user. That means that they have provided their real name and verifiable contact information to the platform itself. You can find a verified user with a profile that says “verified with” at the top-left corner of the profile.
Furthermore, their profile will also display the verification source they used, be it Google, Facebook, or another avenue. Verified accounts mean that should things go awry, LetGo can intervene and possibly help solve the situation.
To verify your own LetGo account, start by opening your profile. You will see “build trust” underneath your profile photo. Follow the instructions thereafter to link up an account. When you have successfully linked your account to another account, you should be verified.
Be Willing to Ask and Answer Questions Before the Sale
No matter what the platform may be, there are a few keys to verifying that the sale is legitimate. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that you ask all the pertinent questions (or answer them if you are the seller) before the sale goes through.
By asking and answering all of the pertinent questions, you can ensure that both parties have all the needed information before going through with the deal. If you are a seller, a potential buyer might want to ask a few related questions.
Beware of the Price
The price is an important factor. If it seems like the price is too low or too good to be true, that is one of the telltale signs of a scam. People do not sell legitimate items for far below the asking price if there is no scam afoot.
Pictures Are Important
Make sure that the picture is clear. When a photo is blurry or makes it hard to see the details of the item, it can indicate a misdirection. People looking to make a legitimate sale are willing to take a clear picture of the item. That way, potential buyers can see any damage or imperfections that may exist in the item.
Speaking of pictures, the type of picture is important, too. Having a photo that the seller took is essential. When a scam is afoot, sellers may use a catalog or advertising photo instead. That is a clear indication that they are hiding something about the item.
Finally, ask about or be clear about damage. Sellers who are unclear about the damage or wear on an item often try to hide a bigger issue. Transparency about the damage to an object is important for the honesty of the sale.
Try to Avoid Exchanging Personal Information
Unfortunately, not all scams are about selling a defective item for a price that is far more than reasonable for the value of that item. There are some scams, called phishing scams, where the scammer tries to garner personal information from a potential “buyer.”
That is why it is important never to disclose information whether you are a buyer or a seller. For starters, there is never a reason that you would have to give out things such as financial account information, home addresses, or social security numbers.
Should a buyer or seller try to get any of that kind of information from you, that is the number one sign of a scam. Never, ever give out your personal information.
Only Communicate on the Platform
There are times when sellers push to communicate off the platform. The main reason, even for honest sellers, is that they are trying to eschew the fees associated with selling on the platform. Whether you like or hate LetGo, that is the cost for selling under the platform’s protection.
So, avoid communicating with buyers or sellers outside of the platform. This is especially true if a buyer or seller asks for personal information such as phone numbers, email addresses, or a username from another app.
At best, they are trying to avoid accountability on the LetGo app. At worst, it is a way to scam someone out of personal information and, eventually, money. Whenever communicating with a buyer or seller, make sure to keep communications restricted to the app. Most importantly, those conversations will be logged by LetGo so that you can be covered.
Agree to a Payment Method Prior to Meeting
When you have finally agreed on a sale, both the buyer and seller need to come to an agreement on how the payment will be conducted. While it may seem that all forms of payment are the same, that could not be further from the truth.
Wherever transactions are concerned, avoid paying with or accepting a wire transfer or check. That includes official checks that banks issue, such as cashier’s checks. The LetGo platform recommends cash to be exchanged for the item on the spot or a reliable service with tracking such as PayPal.
There are also concerns about a buyer offering to send money to ship an item. That could be a potential scam, and LetGo advises that you do not ever ship an item or accept payment before the buyer seeing the item up close and personal.
Make sure that you wait until meeting the person before you either make or accept the payment. Make sure that the item and the payment are exchanged at the same time. This ensures that both parties are happy with the transaction and that there are no question marks when it comes to the item or payment.
Use the Let’s Meet Function
LetGo advises that you not send or receive items in the mail. You can set up a meeting with the buyer or seller right there within the platform using the Let’s Meet function. This way, you can set up a meeting at a suggested location where it is public and well-lit.
This way, you can meet the seller up close and personal. Moreover, you can do so in a safe setting where details can be discussed.