Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tips for buyers - Avoiding Internet Auction Frauds

Listed below are tips to protect yourself and your family from various forms of Internet fraud:
  • Determine what method of payment the seller is asking from the buyer and where he/she is asking to send payment.
  • When purchasing products over the Internet, it’s best to use your credit card rather than PayPal or your debit card. That way, if you have any problems, you have recourse to dispute the charges through your credit-card company before the payment is actually made.
  • Examine the feedback on the seller.
  • Learn as much as possible about the seller, especially if the only information you have is an e-mail address. If it is a business, check the Better Business Bureau where the seller/business is located.
  • Understand as much as possible about how the auction works, what your obligations are as a buyer, and what the seller's obligations are before you bid.
  • Find out what actions the web site/company takes if a problem occurs and consider insuring the transaction and shipment.
  • If a problem occurs with the auction transaction, it could be much more difficult if the seller is located outside the US because of the difference in laws.
  • Ask the seller about when delivery can be expected and if there is a problem with the merchandise is it covered by a warranty or can you exchange it.
  • Find out if shipping and delivery are included in the auction price or are additional costs so there are no unexpected costs.
  • There should be no reason to ever give out your social security number or drivers license number to the seller.
If you believe you may have fallen victim to this type of scam and wish to report it, please file a complaint with the U.S. government Internet Fraud Complaints Center.  And tell us about it, so we can warn others!
In addition, visit eBay and PayPal for additional security alerts and fraud prevention tips.

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