Creative?  That's not necessarily a word I would use for this... but in polite conversation, that's the word I am using.

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Scammers are getting more and more creative every day. It seems that there is a new scam  everyday that we all need to be on the lookout for.  This time it's Venmo.

Venmo is a great way to pay for things when you owe friends and family.  That is honestly the only way that I will use it.  I generally will not use venmo to buy things online, or receive money from people I don't know.  This is just a general rule, but there are always those certain exceptions.

Enter Facebook Marketplace.  First of all, if you are selling something, it's great if the "interested party" would actually show up to collect the item you're selling instead of all of the conversation going back and forth, then deciding on a time for them to come and pick up th item and them they are a not-show.  That's just frustrating.  But it gets worse when there is some sort of scam involved.

Here is the scenario -

Item on Facebook Marketplace.  Person says they are interested in the item.  There is an agreed upon price.  The buyer says that since she has a business account for Venmo and the seller does not, Venmo is asking them for a $500 deposit on top of the price of the item.  Then, in turn, the seller is supposed to refund the money to the buyer, less the price of the item.  Now, if you are used to paying and receiving payment through Venmo, you might not fall for this.  But if you are new to Venmo, then you may think about it. It sounds weird, and it is. But some people may just be too trusting and fall for this.  No one is coming to pick up the item that is for sale.  They are just trying to make $500.  There will even be an email stating that this has been deposited into your Venmo account.  But here is the thing - if you are familiar with normal Venmo transactions, it looks strange.  But if this is the first transaction, you may not know that.

PHOTO: Laura Bradshaw
PHOTO: Laura Bradshaw

If there is ever a time where you are selling something, and the buyer wants to give you more than what you are asking with another transfer being asked for - it's most likely a scam. Do NOT fall for this.  And make sure that if you have older family members that might be new to Venmo, let them know that this is not normal, and always question this type of a transaction.

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