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Navigating the Dangers of Facebook Marketplace: A Closer Look at Robbery Scams



In recent years, Facebook Marketplace has emerged as a popular platform for buying and selling items locally. However, the convenience of this service is not without its risks.

A disturbing trend has surfaced where robbery scams have transitioned from the digital realm into violent, physical encounters.

This article delves into the alarming incidents of Facebook Marketplace robberies, providing insights into how these scams operate and offering guidance on how to stay safe while engaging in online transactions.

The Rise of Facebook Marketplace and Its Dark Side

Facebook Marketplace is an online platform provided by the social media giant, Facebook, designed to facilitate the buying and selling of goods within local communities. Its ease of use and the trust associated with the Facebook brand have made it a go-to option for many users. However, the platform’s popularity also makes it a fertile ground for scammers and criminals.

Two recent cases highlight the severity of such scams: the Wheatley Heights incident in Suffolk County and the DeKalb County arrest in Georgia.

Case Study 1: The Wheatley Heights Incident

In a shocking event reported by the Suffolk County District Attorney, 23-year-old Jordan Behling from Wheatley Heights was indicted for a scam that left a victim seriously injured. The buyer, looking to purchase a PlayStation 5, handed Behling $280 in cash, only to be dragged from the car as Behling sped away, resulting in the victim sustaining serious injuries and being confined to a wheelchair.

Behling faces multiple charges, including Robbery in the First Degree and Assault in the First Degree. District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney condemned the actions, stating, “My office will seek justice for the victim and hold the defendant accountable for his actions.” Behling’s arraignment took place on January 9, 2024, with the next court date scheduled for February 12, 2024.

Case Study 2: The DeKalb County Arrest

In a similar vein, Regi Knight was arrested in DeKalb County, accused of posting a fake ad for a car and robbing a potential buyer at gunpoint. The victim, a retired veteran, was lured with the promise of a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass, only to be confronted and robbed by Knight. Knight’s brazenness extended to posting pictures and videos in the stolen car on social media before his arrest.

How the Scams Work

Typically, the scammer will post an attractive ad on Facebook Marketplace. Once a buyer shows interest and agrees to meet, the scammer uses the opportunity to commit robbery, often at gunpoint. These encounters can lead to physical harm and significant financial losses for the victims.

Staying Safe on Facebook Marketplace

To avoid falling victim to such scams, consider the following safety tips:

  • Always meet in public places that are well-lit and have plenty of people around.
  • Bring a friend or family member when meeting a seller or buyer.
  • Verify the identity of the other party before proceeding with the transaction.
  • Consider using secure payment methods instead of cash.
  • Trust your instincts—if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Reporting and Legal Recourse

If you encounter a scam on Facebook Marketplace, report it immediately through the platform’s reporting feature. Additionally, contact your local law enforcement to inform them of the incident. Scammers can face serious legal charges, including robbery and assault.


While Facebook Marketplace can be a valuable resource for finding deals and selling items, it is crucial to remain vigilant and prioritize safety. By being aware of the risks and taking preventative measures, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of a robbery scam.

Remember, the key to a safe transaction is caution and preparedness. Share this information with friends and family to spread awareness and help others avoid these dangerous scams. Stay informed and stay safe.