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18th January 2024

Urgent consumer warning as TSB finds over a third of adverts on Facebook Marketplace could be scams

Urgent consumer warning as TSB finds over a third of adverts on Facebook Marketplace could be scams

  • TSB says social media companies must deliver on commitments in the Government’s Online Fraud Charter
  • Facebook Marketplace accounts for 73 percent of all purchase fraud cases at TSB
  • Estimated £60m lost by UK households from Marketplace last year

TSB is warning consumers to avoid making online purchases on Facebook Marketplace – as TSB fraud experts assess over a third (34%) of the adverts tested on the platform could be scam posts.

Members of TSB’s fraud team sampled 100 Facebook Marketplace posts on their feed1 – including cars, watches, games consoles, air fryers and handbags – and engaged with the seller to determine whether the items were genuinely for sale, or scams.

The fraud experts concluded that 34 percent of the listings were fraudulent once the seller used tactics known to be commonly used by purchase fraud criminals.

For instance, sellers deemed to be scammers directed TSB fraud experts to fake websites; refused to allow viewing of an item in person and demanded advanced fees. TSB also discovered items advertised as ‘brand new’, for hundreds of pounds less than their real retail price,

Scale of Marketplace fraud

The findings chime with the excessive fraud rate from Facebook Marketplace, which currently accounts for 73 percent2 of all purchase fraud cases at TSB – and remains the biggest driver of fraud by volume.

TSB’s calculations show that £60m3 could have been lost by customers of all banks via Facebook Marketplace in 2023 – which is £160,000 being lost every day on the platform.

Matt Hepburn, Fraud Spokesperson, TSB, said:

"You wouldn’t shop at a supermarket if a third of the items might be stale or counterfeit – so the same should apply to Facebook Marketplace, where you could have a one in three chance of being scammed when paying online.

“Social media companies really must act on their commitments under the government’s Online Fraud Charter by urgently clearing up their platforms – removing scam adverts is a good first test.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors

1 TSB’s fraud team undertook the investigation in November 2023 and tested the live adverts that appeared on their Facebook Marketplace feed.

2 Internal customer data from TSB that uses the methodology of ‘when the platform was recorded’

3 This relates to losses at all banks. TSB calculates that £59,714,000 could have been lost in 2023 based on latest UK Finance Data for H1 2023:: Half year fraud update 2023.pdf ( combined with internal data where 73% of all purchase fraud cases stemmed from Facebook Marketplace at TSB.



  • During the investigation, TSB discovered an iPhone 13, listed as ‘brand new’ at just £84 - when the Apple website sells this model for £599. On contacting the seller, TSB’s fraud expert was directed to a scam website to make the payment.
  • TSB found a 2016 Audi Q3 advertised for £6,000. The seller refused to answer any questions and directed TSB’s fraud expert to an email address. Upon searching the email address, TSB discovered it had been reported as part of a car fraud scam on a community website in 2023.
  • Other items included a Ninja Air Fryer, listed as brand new at £65 (real retail price: £249.00) for which TSB was directed to a fake site.

Most scammed items on Facebook Marketplace in 2023 by volume

1. Vehicle/Vehicle Parts


2. Phone


3. Shoes and Clothing


4. Games Console and Accessories


5. Concert and Festival Tickets


6. Small Electronics (Laptop, Cameras, Tables, Drones etc)


7. Furniture


8. Household Electronics and Appliances


9. Service


10. Building Materials and Tools



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The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. ​