RAYNE, La. — The Rayne Police Department say they are investigating complaints regarding theft by fraud crimes committed through the Facebook Marketplace platform.

According to a Facebook post from RPD, in each of the incidents, the scammer placed an item for sale, usually for about $100, and offered to deliver the item after receiving payment.

The victim sent the money to the scammer via a third-party application, however the delivery never comes and the seller’s account is usually deleted soon after the payment is received.

To avoid falling prey to this scam, RPD says do not send payment until you take possession of the item or use Facebook Checkout, Paypal or another electronic payment platform that offers protection against scams.

Since Facebook and Paypal offer such protection to the buyer, RPD says the scammers will often claim they can’t take that method of payment and suggest a cash app or other unrecoverable payment method.

RPD also advises users that when they meet sellers or buyers, they should always conduct the exchange at a public place, such as the police department parking lot or within our lobby for their safety.

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