ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) — Spring has sprung, and many cleaning their home may think about selling items they no longer need to make some extra cash, but before you head to social media like Facebook Marketplace, be aware, scammers have a new trick up their sleeves.

The Better Business Bureau says they are seeing a jump in phony accounts who pretend they want to buy your stuff.

Here’s how the scam works

  • Scammers will contact you and only want to pay using a peer-to-peer payment app, like Zelle or Cash App.
  • The scammer will send you more money than the asking price and then ask you to send the extra money back.
  • You will typically get an email that appears to be from Zelle or another payment app, and while it looks legitimate, it’s not real.

The BBB stresses If you refund the scammer, and realize they never sent you any money in the first place. You’ll lose your money, and the scammer will disappear.

“More people are buying online again; you’ve got to do your homework, be more careful, make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate person or a legitimate company,” said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia.

Tips to avoid getting scammed

  • Don’t trust anyone willing to overpay you. The BBB stresses this is a RED FLAG.
  • Check email addresses carefully; scammers use fake addresses similar to official ones from payment apps.
  • Know payment app policies before you use them. The BBB says scammers often make up fake policies to trick you.
  • Don’t ship an item before you receive payment
  • Report any scams to Facebook Marketplace