Our blog this week looks at some recent scary scams we have seen on facebook community groups. We provide some advice with a warning if buying bikes in Facebook community groups. Facebook groups of cycling & triathlon enthusiasts have been growing in number on facebook with people sharing basic information about their bikes and cycling equipment. Quick and free it may be but it is unfortunately not totally secure. With no validation of the bike or the seller anyone can join a private group and offer gear for sale.
Facebook scams in community groups
The scam involves someone setting up a temporary profile page using a cycling flavoured photo looking all lycra loving and genuine. They skulk around the outskirts of facebook groups building up some history and then request to innocently join your local group. As community groups have little analytic capability to check the authenticity of any newly discovered members they generally are allowed in and then have access to the community members. Generally building some credibility to list a bike or parts for sale over a few weeks and then sneaking in an advert for something gorgeous and shiny up for sale at a very reasonable price.
Understand who you are buying from
The scammers generally have little knowledge on what they are selling but claim to be selling it for a friend, really? The pictures are the first clue and the lack of any real knowledge is the second. The final kicker that should leave you running to the hills is resistance to disclose where they are located. But being super friendly and offering to post it once you have paid. When they disappear back into the interweb never to be seen again. Email account closed and facebook page left dormant.
Watch yourselves out there people.
Hopefully this will give you some extra insight and avoid pitfalls with this warning if buying bikes in facebook community groups.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes Ltd and passionate about delivering a secure web platform for all cyclists.