eBay Auction Fraud – Learn How to Spot It

Do you buy a lot of stuff on internet auctions like eBay? I’ve bought a few inexpensive things, but I wouldn’t consider buying an expensive item from someone I’ve never seen before.

Auction fraud does occur on eBay and Yahoo Auctions, just ask Darren Barringer. Darren paid for a laptop on eBay in June 2002, but received a Montreal phone book in his FedEx package instead. That made him upset and curious. So he decided to look through other auctions to see if he could pick out the fraudulent ones. Here’s what he found as possible signs of a fraudulent listing:

* Low priced high-ticket items, like high-definition TVs, laptops, or jewelry — especially if there are multiple items for sale.
* Brand-new sellers with no sales history.
* Sellers requesting wire transfers for payment, or payment in foreign currencies.
* Auctions that begin and end over a weekend, since eBay customer support is light during those days.
* Seller telephone numbers or addresses that can’t be verified.

I’ll be creating some additional information about internet fraud, and auction fraud specifically in the coming weeks. Until then, please be careful when clicking the “Buy” button.

Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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