When encountering scams and fraud, they can easily be avoided by following common sense. Remember that if it's too good to be true, well, it is. Following a few precautions can ensure that you avoid any scams and rip-offs in the future.
Here are scams you should look out for as a buyer. Following these tips can prevent the invasion of private information and loss of money.
Scammed Feedback Scores
The first and most important thing you should be looking at is the feedback of the person you're buying from. After all, if there's an excellent feedback score, your transaction partner is just as reliable, right? Well, not necessarily. You should make that there are no inconsistencies in his or her feedback scores as there are feedback scams that can make them look stellar.
Don't be shy; ask questions and get the information yourself.
Wire Transfer Scams
Never pay for any eBay purchase through the use of wire-transferred money. Anyone who asks for this method of payment is, most of the time, a scammer. Once your funds are transferred, it's near impossible to get that money back.
Phishing Email Scams
It may seem like a general rule that everyone follows, but the point is some actually don't. Never give out your personal eBay information and password. And don't respond to any emails that require you to verify an existing account. These emails are completely fake and will use your information inappropriately. You also need to look out for embedded links within your emails. Clicking on them can result in you being taken to a fake website that you end up giving your account information. The worst part is, you might not even realize it.
Here are scams you should look out for as someone who might be selling an item on eBay...
The "Item Not Received" Scam
Sellers will often prey on those who are new to the eBay seller scene and who aren't familiar with the rules of PayPal. A lot of new sellers don't know about delivery confirmation. Scammers will use PayPal to pay for their item, waiting for it to be delivered. Once the package arrives, scammers check if delivery confirmation was used or not. If it was, your scammer won't be successful and will have to look for someone else to trick.
If, however, delivery confirmation wasn't used, they'll claim their item wasn't received. As a result, PayPal will take any funds out of the seller's account, returning it to their scammer. This is because you're unable to show any proof of your delivery to PayPal. There's nothing you can do about this, either.
Preventing this type of scam from happening will involve you listing your items and clearly stating that delivery confirmation will be used when it's delivered. Scammers won't even consider your items then. And ship using only UPS and FedEx.
PayPal Limit Scam
This is known as the "Over $250 PayPal" scam. If your item is sold for $250 or more and you haven't used signature confirmation, scammers can open a dispute with PayPal, claiming their item wasn't received even if you used delivery confirmation. Without a signature confirmation, PayPal can take those funds out of your account and return it to your scammer.
Credit Card Chargeback
PayPal allows buyers to fund their purchases with their own credit card. And although this means a convenient payment method, it also serves as an outlet for scammers. If a stolen credit card is used or if the buyer requests a chargeback that credit card company will take all of that money back from PayPal. For PayPal to take money from a seller's account depends if that item was eligible for the seller protection policy offered by PayPal.
To be eligible, you (as the seller) must ship to the confirmed shipping address provided by your buyer.
Fake Cashier's Checks and Money Orders
The problem with these forms of payment is that even though your bank accepts them and funds your account, it'll be taken back out if it turns out to be fake. Bank tellers aren't necessarily experts when it comes to spotting fake checks and money orders, so it could take weeks until they've realized it's counterfeit.
This scam is generally done by two different means: the dollar amount listed on the money order for the exact price of an item or it could be listed in excess of the item's purchase price. If someone wants you to refund the money for a check or money order, it's a scam. Scammers will try out a vast range of tricks just to get your cooperation. Be on your guard and never fall for money order scams.
Buyers Request Shipments to Different Address
Unfortunately, innocent victims will encounter this scam as their PayPal account is hijacked. Scammers won't change the account's shipping address since it will send a notification via email to the account holder. Instead, scammers will convince the seller to ship their items to a different address. Don't fall for any of their excuses, like they're moving or that the item is for their friend. Only ship to addresses that are confirmed. This scam can result in liability for chargebacks.
Unfortunately, scammers will never stop preying on eBay sellers and buyers. But you can prevent it from happening to you by following these tips and being aware of shipping, credit card, and buyer information. Always be on your guard and don't get sidetracked by stories and excuses. Failing to do so can result in wasted effort and, in most cases, loss of substantial amounts of money.
Look for the "Top Rated Plus" badge next to a seller's profile.