Benton Co. family: watch out for Facebook Marketplace scam

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BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — A family in Benton County says it spent $850 on an appliance from Facebook Marketplace, only to find it doesn’t work properly.

Bobby Solis of Centerton is now making sure others don’t fall for the same scam.

“We had them plug it in a day before…so when we checked it out it was cool. It seemed to be working,” Solis said.

It was a deal too good to pass up — that’s at least what Solis thought about the refrigerator he purchased in Bentonville.

“The next morning we woke up to an error on the fridge,” Solis said. “I had them send out an LG repairman…he determined that this unit was condemned unrepairable because the evaporator fan motor was missing a wire from the factory this way. So, he says from day one whoever purchased this brand new, it had never worked.”

Solis says he asked for his money back, but the seller refused.

All the additional repairs is costing him hundreds of dollars.

“I started doing a little more research and found out his name wasn’t his real name that he sold it under…he had lied about that. I found three or four different fake Facebook accounts that they were selling other large appliances from,” Solis said.

Sgt. Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department says scams with big ticket items online are most common among used cars.

Red flags can start at the sellers profile.

“Make sure you’re checking in on the seller and the product. Once you exchange money your legal ramifications if something goes wrong….there is a huge risk there. You don’t have a lot of ways to get back your money. That’s one of the risks,” Page said.

According to Facebook policy, if you have a negative experience on marketplace you can block and report the seller, leave a rating for the seller, or contact local law enforcement if you’re concerned about your physical safety, theft or fraud.

“After you’ve actually seen the goods and you know this is the product you want buy…make the full payment on it. Never agree to do payments with another person. If that person finds financial issues, you’re probably not going to get your money,” Page said.

If you’re buying a car online, Page says, “before you make the purchase, make sure you have the title in hand, and it is the right title.”

Solis adds he’s sharing his story so this doesn’t happen to other local families, especially from people in local online yard sale groups.

“Go with your gut…know how to test certain things,” Solis said.

Page says if you buy something online, meeting in a public place and in daylight is the best way to stay safe.

If you think the item online is fake, you can do a reverse image search online using Google.

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