Sections on this page
- How OfferUp Email Scams Work
- How to Beat and Avoid OfferUp Email Scams
- Examples of OfferUp Email Scams
- Fallen for OfferUp Email Scams?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, OfferUp email scams involve someone trying to trick you into divulging personal information. It’s a dangerous type of scam, often ending in identity theft.
These scammers are after personal details like your bank account information, credit card numbers, passwords, PINs, or anything else they could use to masquerade as you online.
How OfferUp Email Scams Work
On OfferUp, the “phishing” can come from many different sources, with scammers posing as buyers, sellers, and even OfferUp itself. Unfortunately, scammers are anything if not imaginative, so new versions of this scam surface all the time, but, in general, there are a few common steps to the process.
You Get An Email
Essentially, this is the first contact. The scammer has to get in touch with you one way or another, and with OfferUp email scams, it all starts in your inbox.
Most frequently, this scam will involve getting an email from a site claiming to be OfferUp. However, there are versions of this scam where you get a message from another OfferUp user pretending to buy one of your items for sale or sell you something.
You Respond (Click on a Link, Call a Phone Number, or Email Back Information)
If the OfferUp scam email informs you of a problem with your account, it might ask for your username and password to clear things up. You may be asked to email this information back, call a “customer service” number, or click on a link to “log in.” If there’s a link to click, it will lead you to a log-in page that looks like OfferUp.
If the email is about a product for sale on OfferUp, the link will take you to a checkout page, which again looks like it's on OfferUp, but in fact, it's not. Here you are asked to enter your personal information and bank/credit card number.
The Scammer Steals Your Information
Whatever information you entered into the fake OfferUp website, the scammer will now have, which can include your:
- Phone number
- Credit card information
- Social Security number
Scammers can use this to steal your identity and ultimately put your money and credit at risk.
How to Beat and Avoid OfferUp Email Scams
Even if you open the email, you can still beat OfferUp email scams by never:
- Clicking on any links.
- OfferUp will NOT send you emails related to shopping or sales.
- If the email informs you of a problem, address it directly by logging in to the app.
- Giving away any personal information.
- Using any kind of payment other than the major credit cards accepted by OfferUp.
- Doing any OfferUp business outside of the app.
Red Flags To Watch Out For
It can be tricky to tell a well-done scam email from the real thing. One thing to remember is that OfferUp will never send you an email that:
- Asks for your:
- Other account information
- Sends you a link that directs you out of the app
OfferUp will also only ask you to submit a payment in one of the following methods:
- American Express.
- Diners Club.
- Apple Pay.
Before clicking on any links, hover over the link with your mouse to see where it takes you. If it's not directing you to the OfferUp app or the official OfferUp.com website, it's likely a scam.
If you do receive an email and decide to open it, keep your eyes open for signs of fraud. Some details to pay attention to include:
- Email address: Make sure it is from a legitimate OfferUp account and not a public address.
- Website domain: OfferUp doesn’t facilitate any business outside of their app, and the only actual website connected to the company is OfferUp.com.
- Typos: Bad punctuation, misspellings, and strange phrasing.
- Logos and color schemes: Make sure they match OfferUp’s branding exactly.
Examples of OfferUp Email Scams
Remember, an OfferUp email scam can take several forms. Mostly, it will look like an email from OfferUp, sometimes even complete with the OfferUp logo.
Other versions of the scam where another OfferUp user emails you in an attempt to buy or sell an item and asks you to click on a link to either see the item or make payment.
Fallen for OfferUp Email Scams?
A phishing scam can be very dangerous, leading to identity theft, a federal crime that can take years to clear up. If you think you’ve been the victim of an OfferUp email scam, you have a few options.
Contact Your Bank
First, you should contact your bank and:
- Inform them of the situation
- Cancel or freeze any credit cards or debit cards related to the account
- Change your PIN
- Change your password
It’s also a good idea, generally, to change your PIN and password for any other sites that may be connected to your name—especially if these aren’t unique.
Report the Scam
You can contact OfferUp directly by finding the contact page inside the app. Tell the company about what happened and have details ready, including the website domain you were sent to and the email address that contacted you.
You can also report the incident to the local police. If you do so, you’ll want to have as much information as possible, including a copy of the email and any details you might have given away.
OfferUp works closely with police and asks users to ask officers to pass cases on to them. Typically, OfferUp will ask the police for:
- Your case number.
- The investigative officer’s name.
- The investigative officer’s contact information.
Finally, you can bring the issue to the government. You have several options on where to report it, including the:
- FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Reporting OfferUp emails scams to the authorities may not help you keep your identity safe, but it will help them fight the scammers and stop others from falling victim.
Protect Your Identity
Enrolling in an identity theft protection plan, such as Lifelock, can help prevent future identity theft. These plans usually cost a subscription fee, but it's well worth it.
Keep an Eye on Your Accounts
In addition to reporting the scam to your bank, the authorities, and OfferUp, stay on the lookout for strange activity in your name, such as:
- Purchases you didn’t make.
- Receiving information (emails, letters) you didn’t ask for.
- Letters about loans you didn’t take out.
The internet can be a dangerous place, and identity theft is serious. Hopefully, with some vigilance, you’ll be able to avoid falling victim to other OfferUp email scams or any phishing scam.