Scott: [00:00:00] Dollars and Cents with Hapo Community Credit Union helps empower our listeners to achieve financial success while living for today and planning for tomorrow. This podcast focuses on financial education, community support, fraud prevention, real life stories of financial transformation, and much more.

Hapo Community Credit Union serves Washington and Oregon with over 18 locations. Bank on more when you bank with us. Welcome back to another episode of Dollars and Cents, HAPO Community Credit Union's financial literacy podcast. Once again, back in the studio literally the reigning champion of, of guest visits that we've got Jen Kacparek.

We're talking fraud again protection, always good topics when you come in fantastic stories. Today we're going to be talking about one that should feature pretty much everybody out there, Facebook marketplace. I know that we've all been scrolling our for you feed and seeing, Hey, do you want to [00:01:00] buy this random thing that someone near you is selling?

I've never personally gone and bought one of those things, but I see them all the time. So today we're going to be talking about that. Give us a quick intro to our topic, please. Yeah, 

Jen: so we're just going to talk a little bit about how to protect yourself from the physical to the financial, as well as best practices for when you're selling something to make sure that you are going to be able to sell it quickly, efficiently, and that you will get the money that you were asking 

Scott: for it.

All right. And of course, this isn't going to be just Facebook marketplace. There's a lot of different places that you can turn around and sell things online. eBay for the longest time was probably the pinnacle. of that as well as other situations. Probably would assume Etsy probably has something here, but I think they're probably a bit more structured than the, than the the peer to peer that we're talking about.

For today's 

Jen: correct. Yeah, I would say things like Craigslist is still out there. Oh, yeah, or like you said eBay those kind of the [00:02:00] I'm selling to you individually less of a actual store or location. Or where somewhere maybe you could use your debit card per se. Okay. Things 

Scott: like that. So with Facebook Marketplace, with eBay, with Craigslist typically what we're looking at here is that there is no real validation on who the seller or the buyer are, correct?

Jen: Correct, yeah. So you're literally going off of a listing. Hey, I have a piece of furniture to sell. I live in approximately this location. Would you like to buy it? 

Scott: Approximately is a good statement there because if you're giving out your actual home address, then who knows who's going to go pick that up, even if it's just in the listing, let alone somebody who's attempting to buy something from 

Jen: you.

Correct. Yeah. I mean, and I think that that's probably a good segue into the first kind of safety thing whether buying or selling use a public space. If you're selling it, don't give these people your address. You know, you never know who's going to show up what would [00:03:00] happen with that. And if you're buying you know, you don't want to go to somebody's home again, if you're not sure who's there just for safety.

A lot of, of our local police departments, they have actual designated spots where you can meet people. You can trade your, your selling, buying your cash, whatever that looks like. And then they're available. They're there. It's typically right in front of them. PlayStation, so that's a great 

Scott: option.

Good place guaranteed to be a safe location. But outside of that, what we're kind of discussing here is that you want a populated location. So that you're not sitting in a dark alley between buildings and the lights flickering like some like some strange film scene We're talking like maybe you pick like a target parking lot where you've got a lot of people around.

Jen: Yeah, like a grocery store yeah your walmart's your targets. You'll see those A lot. You know, you'll kind of see those people park side by side, you know, Hey, I've got my little painting, you know, here's your cash. There's [00:04:00] lots of people around to really see that. I 

Scott: know I've seen a couple of those and thought that maybe something nefarious was happening.

Like I've got the goods. Do you have the cash? When we're talking about that, those type of transactions, we're also talking, like you mentioned, bringing cash to a situation like that. Correct. So that you're not making a payment before you receive the 

Jen: goods. Correct. Yeah. I think that that's, I mean, a great, another point that you brought is when you're especially buying something that.

Always pay in cash. That is your number one best way to do this. I know in the digital market, it's easy to have a lot of those peer to peer payments, your cash ups, your venmos. You know, there's a million different ways you can do that, which seems really easy and you would think would be more secure than Bringing cash with you.

The problem with those is those are really meant to pay your family and friends. People, you know they are in the business of, Hey, I wanna send money from me to you. That's all they [00:05:00] do. They're, they don't regulate buying and selling of goods. So if something goes wrong, if. If you can't ever meet this person, you're kind of out that money at 

Scott: that point.

I know that eBay and PayPal have a bit of a a bit more structure behind their version of things and part of their investigation and their ability to get your money back comes from the fact that they're a, a fully built and structured business, which is why we're talking today more about the Facebook marketplace, the Craigslist, the new digital version of classified ads.

And. If you were to transfer if I were to transfer money to you, there's nothing guaranteeing that you give me the product that I have paid you for, or that that product is even 

Jen: real. Correct. Yeah. Unfortunately, we do see a lot of scams with that where you think you're buying something up. Honestly, the most common scam is we see people who are selling puppies.

Oh, goodness. You know, everybody loves a cute puppy. And if [00:06:00] you're looking for one, you see one on, you know, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace. Hey, I have to move. I can't keep my puppy. I'm just asking for a rehoming fee. Hey, cash up that to me. So you cash up them, you know, the hundred bucks for this cute, adorable puppy.

And suddenly they've blocked you. You have no way to get in contact with them. You have no way to, you know, know who they really were on the other side. Mm-Hmm. . And at the end of the day, there probably wasn't really a puppy . 

Scott: See, these type of things are, are bothersome because I love my dogs. And I did recently get a, a new puppy a couple years ago.

She's, she's about to be three years old. And I verified the, the breeder with a friend of mine who had gotten a dog from them before. But again, it was, there was at least a little bit of that concern in the back of my mind that like, Hey, is this, is this legitimate? This is a purebred corgi in particular, the queen's dogs, if you will.

And there was a certain aspect of I've never met this [00:07:00] individual. They're in a different city, even though they're pretty close. And I was, can you get me a cashier's check for a down payment to hold this puppy for you? And I, I 100 percent had that moment in the back of my head that was, am I about to send this person a bunch of money for a dog that I've only seen video 

Jen: of?

Right. And I think that's the thing is like, you can even, they could even show pictures or videos really, especially if you're buying a dog or something like that, ask if you can go see it first, like, Hey, where is this dog located? Could maybe we meet at the dog park? Yeah. Make sure we're a good fit 

Scott: first.

Absolutely. And that is actually something that I was offered by this particular breeder was to, to meet up and, and to do those things, which was fantastic. It eased my mind immediately. I didn't have a chance to get down there, but like I said, a friend of mine had had gotten a puppy from them previously, and so I had a pretty good background check, if you will, on that individual, and it worked out great for me, which is good, but we also want people to be [00:08:00] aware that sometimes it doesn't go that way.

So when we're talking about these type of things, what, aside from cash, can we do for those situations where say somebody is looking for a down payment on something? Do we have any methods that we can use other than trying background check verification, meet the people first? That we can do to protect ourselves.

I mean, I think 

Jen: as a buyer, especially, you know, maybe it's a larger dollar amount item you know, you don't want to take all that cash with you. You know, you could, Hey, could we do a cashier's check? Something like that would be better. I think in that case, making sure it's. local to you is a good way because I mean, at the end of the day, unfortunately, you can counterfeit anything.

So, you know, you want to make sure, hey, you know, yes, cashier's checks typically are good funds. And but again, making sure it's somewhere local you know, it's not out of, Illinois or, you know, a credit union in Florida, like something that wouldn't make sense to whoever you're buying it from. You [00:09:00] know, so things like that could be really good red flags.

And then I think at the end of the day, just doing your homework, like does what they're selling make sense for the dollar amount that you're purchasing it for, or. things are super, super cheap for some reason, it's almost that too good to be true, you know you kind of want to do your due diligence especially things like Facebook marketplace.

How long is this person had a profile on there? Is it relatively new? You know, or have they kind of had that longstanding profile? Cause typically it'll tell you that information. Again, those are kind of. things to look for and see if it's 

Scott: a profile that somebody clone, maybe it's absolutely somebody that you could search up and find.

And it's a clone profile where the one selling it hasn't been around for very long, but whoever actually has the main profile has been around. So verifying that if you do find one of those, that you verify that the one that's selling the item. that profile has been around for 

Jen: a while. Correct. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

I think those are all kind of really good things that you can use to, to really [00:10:00] identify you know, is, is this legitimate? Is it not? Those are really helpful things. 

Scott: So, I know we talked a little bit about how there's some convenient apps out there. In a previous podcast, we talked about the technological advancements in finance.

And in particular, one of the things that we discussed was Apple Pay. Apple Pay has an interesting method that they use for doing transactions, where the card that you have on file is not necessarily the number that runs when you actually use Apple pay. Is that the type of thing that somebody could use in a situation like this?

I feel like most places have a pay with Apple pay type of a thing that, that needs to be set up ahead of time. So odds are against that being an option here. Correct. 

Jen: Yeah. I would say typically if you're to the point where they have a card reader, kind of a set up business that's gonna. Always be a little more safer.

But when you're dealing with marketplaces, a lot of times it's not, it's just those individuals. So they don't typically [00:11:00] have that kind of thing set up. So then you're looking more at that again, that peer to peer payment where you're, you know, Hey, what's your information? Let me send you some money.

And again, those are just always safer as long as you know who you're sending it 

Scott: to. Absolutely. So yeah. Excuse me. When we bring and we go to these meetings now, we're going to be bringing cash with us. And like you said, some of these, these transactions could be a pretty high dollar amount. Obviously we are going to go alone.

We're not going to tell anybody where we're going. This is all. sarcasm. What is the best practice for making these transactions? We talked about public spaces, the actual transaction parking spaces that the local police might provide. What other things can we do to protect 

Jen: ourselves? I think bring somebody with you.

It's never a bad idea. You know, grab your friend. Hey, I'm going to buy Maybe you're buying a little PlayStation, you know, that might be a slightly higher dollar amount. Make sure people know where you're going. If you're not bringing somebody with you you know, call your friend. Hey, just so you know, I'm [00:12:00] going to X location to meet up with somebody.

I think those are all really important just to make sure that you have those people around you and kind of that know what's happening outside 

Scott: of the financial safety and into the physical safety aspect of things. Also, if you're buying something large, you might just want an extra pair of hands to help move the 

Jen: thing.

Correct? Yes. Yeah. I would say I use Facebook marketplace about a bunch of stools. You know, you gotta bring a friend with you today. I gotta get him from my car to your car. 

Scott: So as a seller, Do we have any particular tips and tricks for for the listeners about what they can do to protect themselves while selling items?

Jen: think the big thing is being a seller is kind of looking for those people who I'll, I'll pay you extra money for it. If you, you know, promise to get it to me right now. That's kind of a red flag. Most people are gonna ask you for less when you're selling something on marketplace, kind of like those yard sales, you know, Hey, will you take a 1.

75 instead of 2? 

Scott: And we know [00:13:00] from previous conversations that urgency tends to be a red flag and a fraud scenario to begin with phishing emails. Phone calls. They all want you to act right now before you have a chance to think about it. 

Jen: Yes, correct. I think as a seller too you know, people, they start asking you, oh, well, can you ship it for me?

I'll pay you extra money. And that way you can pay the movers, like things like that, where on the surface you're like, well, maybe that makes sense. But then when you kind of really think about it. Why wouldn't that person just pay somebody to come pick it up themselves, right? So again kind of thinking through the process of what they're asking you When you're selling something also when you're selling something make sure you're not giving out where you are or where you live again Kind of using that approximate this item 

Scott: that I want to get rid of is currently located at this address If you don't pay me for it, you just come pick it up in the middle of the night There's really nothing I can do about it, 

Jen: correct 

Scott: Yeah when we're talking about some of these things, we talk about bringing a friend to help you move these items.

If we're talking about [00:14:00] selling, say, a large item and we still want to use that public space we would immediately, my, my first thought is, well, I don't want to move this thing. If you move it, then like come to my house, pick it up, take it out of the house. We still probably want to get that item out to a neutral space to actually sell it, to, to make the handoff in a parking lot.

Borrow a friend's truck if you don't have one your own or, or rent a U Haul type of a 

Jen: scenario. Or something. Yeah. Like that. Yeah. Absolutely. I just, it's always best that way. You're not. Giving your address. You're not advertising kind of, Hey, I have this thing sitting in my garage. You know, here you go.

I mean, I think along with that too, is especially if you're thinking like Facebook marketplace people may go and look at your Facebook profile because from the buyer side, Hey, I want to know you're real. So along with that, making sure like, what, what does your Facebook profile say about you, you know?

Do you, do you kind of say where you live? Have you, you know, shown pictures [00:15:00] of your house before? And 

Scott: this is general online safety to begin with, don't necessarily go broadcast these things. There's very many ways to track down information about people online. And if you have a public profile on something like Facebook, the amount of information that you aren't aware that you have published out there about yourself could fill volumes generally 

Jen: speaking.

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So I think just generally when you're selling kind of being. a little more vigilant about really looking at what's public, what's private, what could people see about me? Because again, they will probably go look at your profile. Hey, how long have you been on here? Are you a real person?

Scott: A good buyer should be following these tips to look up. A good seller should be aware that they will be doing those type of things. Yeah, absolutely. What other points do we have that we want to make on this topic for, for people 

Jen: listening? I think really the only other thing to be aware of is talking about counterfeit currency.

Thankfully, I feel like Tri Cities, we don't have a big issue with that, but it is still [00:16:00] around. A lot of what we see is what you would call movie money. So right on the front of the bill, it's going to say made for motion pictures. So it's pretty obvious if you give it more than just a quick glance that it's not real.

The other one we typically see around here is there will be a lot of pink. Symbols all over the money. Again, that's money that they use for movies, for training purposes. You can actually buy it online, unfortunately which is fine. If you want to just have it just to play with it. You know, maybe make your own little mini movie, but.

Scott: New currency for board games. If monopolies pink fifties have, have kind of gotten used up over, over the correct. 

Jen: Yeah, but I think, so just kind of when you're trading cash, just give it that good look. 

Scott: And I know that we're talking cash and we're also talking about more advanced payment methods like PayPal and Venmo and whatnot.

And while I know that they haven't exactly completely gone away, checks are still 

Jen: a [00:17:00] thing. Yes, absolutely. I would say probably avoid checks. However, if somebody really wants to pay you with a check, maybe offer to meet them at their financial institution. Okay. You guys can go in. You can kind of cash the check right there on the spot.

That way, you know, you've got your money. They know they're good. And everybody's covered. Okay. 

Scott: Because one of the main concerns with a check would be an insufficient funds type of a check. If I'm floating a check as the term is I'm going to go ahead and cash that check. And then the insufficient funds is going to come through and then all that money that I just added to my account is going to basically get 

Jen: pulled.

Right. And then whatever you're selling is gone as well. Correct. So then you're, you're out, not only your item, but also the 

Scott: money. And worst case scenario for the person floating a check is they pay 20 overdraft fee or something along those lines. Right. But odds are, if they're going that far, they're not really working with that to begin with.

Jen: Correct. Yeah, absolutely. So I would say checks are probably your [00:18:00] last resort. And again, I would say, hey, can we meet at wherever this check is drawn off of go in, cash your check and then at that point you guys can 

Scott: exchange. I was going to say, it makes for a pretty decent neutral transaction spot.

Yes, absolutely. As well as the financial security, if that's going to be a thing. Yeah, absolutely. Any final thoughts for the 

Jen: people? I think, you know, sell things, buy things, just be aware of what you're looking at. And at the end of the day, you know, with all fraud tips, if there's a sense of urgency, take a step back, think about what you're being 

Scott: asked.

Never hurts to take a deep breath and, and contemplate for half a second to make sure that you're safe. Jen, thank you once again for joining us. And this has been another episode of dollars and cents, Hapo community credit unions, financial literacy podcast until next time.