A Michigan woman said she was conned out of $15,000 when she went to buy a car she found on Facebook Marketplace.
“I just lost all my savings,” said Nijme Fardous, of Dearborn, per WLWT 5, a television station in Cincinnati.
Fardous said she was driving from Dearborn to Cincinnati after seeing an ad on Facebook Marketplace for a 2020 Ford Explorer for $15,000 in cash.
For context, a 2020 Ford Explorer ST is listed for around $50,000 AutoMax.
Fardous told the outlet she spoke to the seller, said she would drive the four hours to meet her, then digitally send her $500.
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 in the truck with her and we count the money,” Fardous told the outlet.
But that was when the other woman, Amanda Renn Griffin, according to police, retrieved her boyfriend and the alleged criminal couple put a gun to Fardous’s head, took the money 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, then it absolutely is.”
BeenVerified, a research firm based in New York City, called Facebook Marketplace the fastest growing place for scams in 2022.
“There were many instances where sellers reported losing products to scammers who sent counterfeit checks or other bogus money for ‘payments,’ as well as buyers who sent cash or deposits but never received the product,” the company wrote.
A Pro Publica research last September, the then-billion-user platform found that “based on internal company documents, interviews, and law enforcement records, these safeguards fail to protect buyers and sellers from scam listings, fake accounts, and violent crime.”
australiabusinessblog.com could not immediately reach police for comment.
Zopfi said he looked at Griffin’s profile and found other people who had gone through 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 who you’re dealing with, to make the transaction at every police station. I don’t think there’s a police station in the state of Ohio that wouldn’t be willing to letting you do it there,” Zopfi finished.
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.