A Michigan woman said she was scammed out of $15,000 when she went to purchase a car she found on Facebook Marketplace.
“I just lost all my life savings,” said Nijme Fardous, of Dearborn, per WLWT 5, a television station in Cincinnati.
Fardous said she drove from Dearborn to Cincinnati after she saw a listing on Facebook Marketplace for a 2020 Ford Explorer for $15,000 in cash.
For context, a 2020 Ford Explorer ST is listed for about $50,000 on CarMax.
Fardous told the outlet she talked to the seller, said she would drive the four hours to meet her, then sent her $500 digitally.
Fardous went to the meeting with $14,500 in cash and then ended up in the parking lot/meeting place.
“So, we go to the parking lot. I get into the truck with her, and we’re counting the money,” Fardous told the outlet.
But that was when the other woman, Amanda Renn Griffin, per police, retrieved her boyfriend and the alleged criminal couple put a gun to Fardous’s head, took the cash, and left.
A Cincinnati Police Department detective, Charles Zopfi, told WLWT that people should “always remember that you never get something for nothing and if it sounds too good to be true it absolutely.”
BeenVerified, a research firm based in New York City, named Facebook Marketplace the fastest-growing place for scams in 2022.
“There were many instances where sellers reported losing products to scammers who sent fake checks or other bogus cash for “payments,’ as well as buyers who sent full cash or deposits but never received the product,” the company wrote.
A ProPublica investigation last September on the then billion-user-strong platform found that “based on internal corporate documents, interviews and law enforcement records reveals how those safeguards fail to protect buyers and sellers from scam listings, fake accounts and violent crime.”
Entrepreneur could not immediately reach the police department for comment.
Zopfi said he looked at Griffin’s profile and found other people who had experienced the same thing, and that her profile name is “Mandii Remii.”
“What we’re asking people to do whether you’re buying or selling, arrange with whoever you’re dealing with, to do the transaction at any police station. I don’t think there’s a police station in the state of Ohio that wouldn’t be willing to have you do it there,” Zopfi finished.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.