Selling your stuff online?
How to Avoid Getting Scammed Selling Stuff Online
Social media is a powerful platform for individuals selling things they no longer need. But as always, scammers follow the crowd and target both sellers and buyers.
Here are eight ways to avoid getting scammed.
1. Keep all communication on the host site whenever possible.
Some scammers will attempt to deal with you directly through email or text to avoid the security layers of websites like eBay. If you sell to the scammer directly, you have no recourse for action. By staying on-site, you have the ability to file official complaints and potentially get your money back if you make a mistake.
2. Document everything.
Research the buyer before shipping and take screenshots of all conversations. Photograph every angle of your item, especially the packaging if you have to ship your item. Try to think of every possible situation where you might need to show proof that the item is as advertised, and the sale is legitimate.
3. Don’t ship your item until funds have cleared.
This one should be obvious, but some scammers will push a sense of urgency and even offer more money if you ship ASAP. As a general rule, never send the buyer your item until payment has cleared.
4. Watch out for fraudulent emails claiming payment has been sent.
Always log directly into your accounts and verify that they have been credited before you ship.
5. Limit the amount of personal info you give out.
Most often, the buyer doesn’t need your home address, email address, or even phone number. Only provide the minimum amount of info necessary to complete the transaction. Take a look at the example below when a lady made the mistake of listing her phone number on craigslist.
Never Share your Phone Number on Craigslist.
“I put my phone number on craigslist in Montgomery Alabama. A scammer sent me a text and said that they want to buy the albums I listed on craigslist. Then they ask me to send them the google verification codes so they could verify that I am a real person and not a computer. So they sent the codes and and I typed them back to them as requested. Then they came back and said to type the correct verification code and I didn’t and stopped texting them and deleted the message. I changed my password but when I got home later tonight I checked my security settings and it said someone from Atlanta Ga had logged into my email from an iPhone 6s. So I changed my password again and google locked my email from being logged into from any device except my home computer. Not sure if they have stolen my identity or not but I guess I will find out they hard way. I sounds like they have stolen my identity because they did log into my email from Atlanta.”
Read more: http://hyphenet.com/text-messages-asking-for-account-verification-codes-scam/
6. When selling on local market sites (such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace), only accept cash.
This is the same concept as not shipping before the funds clear. Remember that once you give a stranger your item, you have no way of getting it back. It’s best to demand cash in person. Be sure to count twice, and even though counterfeit money is unlikely, here are eight ways how to detect fake bills: https://secaware.co/2wZ2DvY.
Never Accept a check for more than the selling price
Scammers are giving sellers bogus checks for more than the selling price and asking the seller to send back the difference. By the time the bad checks bounce, the sellers may have already wired the difference to the seller, costing the seller sometimes thousands of dollars.
7. If selling locally, pick a safe place to meet.
Physical safety is more important than avoiding scammers. When selling to a stranger in public, be sure to pick a well-lit, popular location at which to meet the prospective buyer. Even better, find a
place that has security cameras such as a bank parking lot. If possible, bring a friend or have them meet you there.
8. Think before you click.
Scammers see public listings as an opportunity to fire off phishing emails. As usual, handle every email with a heavy dose of skepticism.