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How safe are Harrow’s buy and sell groups on Facebook?

Facebook marketplaces are considered by many to be a great way of decluttering and making a bit of extra cash but how safe are they? In this article, we’re exploring Facebook scams on Harrow selling groups.

What’s the deal ?

Buy and sell groups on Facebook are created to allow people to buy and sell items in their local area without the fees associated with sites such as eBay. After joining a group, members can then list items for sale and, once a purchase is made, the buyer will usually collect from your door in exchange for cash.

Is it safe?

Last month I listed a few electrical items for sale on a Harrow group. Within minutes, I had a message from a gentleman offering to buy one of the items and I was told that he would transfer the cash to my Paypal account immediately and collect that evening. Too good to be true? Yep. I then received an email purporting to be from Paypal asking me to follow a link to log into my account. When I told the ‘buyer’ that I would not proceed until I verified this email with Paypal he first became aggressive and then vanished.


Unfortunately, this type of scam is far from unusual. A 2022 survey revealed that one in six people said that they had been scammed on these groups and, in reality, the figures are likely to be much higher.

Staying safe on Marketplace

While scammers do operate on buying and selling groups, they are the exception rather than the rule and, generally speaking, most people on Marketplace are honest. You do, however, need to use common sense and follow a few rules such as:

  • Never click on a link from an email or message sent to you by a buyer or seller
  • Never pay for a purchase before you have received the item – particularly when it comes to more expensive items such as cars and electronics
  • Where possible, make the exchange on the doorstep rather than entering / letting somebody into your home

If you have been scammed by somebody on a selling group, you should report them to the admins immediately. Unfortunately, however, in many cases, the scammers will simply rejoin the group under a new name.

When it comes to buying and selling on Marketplace, intuition and common sense are valuable tools – if it doesn’t seem right, don’t go ahead with the transaction.

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