Fraud on Internet Auction Sites

Internet Auctions are very popular at the moment. The most popular auction site currently available is eBay but there are many others which include uBid, eBid, Allegro,, Bidorbuy, Lixtor, The Debt Exchange, and Hobby Markets Online. Auction sites are popular with buyers and sellers. Sellers are able to make a profit, while buyers can get a fantastic deal.


Many Internet auction sites are seen as communities. However, you cannot ignore the fact that they are in fact business market places. These sites put buyers and sellers in touch with one another. Sellers are able to sell things they no longer want, and buyers can buy them at discounted prices.

Types Of Internet Auction Fraud

Auction sites are normally completely safe; however, there are some cases of fraud. These sites are very useful as they allow buyers to bid on products from all around the world. But be aware, there are so many different types of auction fraud which you need to be very wary of.

Unseen Products

You cannot physically inspect the products on the internet; the only thing you can look at is the photos on the auction site. It's very easy to obtain these photos on the internet and this could mean that the seller doesn't even have the products. The simplest scam is where you send money but never actually receive the product. The buyers cannot contact sellers as wrong contact information was given to the auction site.

Buyer Fraud

Another type of fraud is where buyers refuse to pay. Some of these buyers will tell the seller that they will pay once they have received the products. If this happens then the seller will certainly be out of pocket.

If the seller doesn't send the item out by recorded delivery then it's even possible for the buyer to claim that they have never received it. If they paid through PayPal then they stand a good chance of getting their money back.

Business Opportunities

Business Opportunities are very common on internet auction sites. However, many of these are scams designed to swindle you out of money. These could be advance fee frauds, pyramid schemes or just illegal business opportunities.

Identity Theft

When buying anything on auction sites you will have to divulge quite a lot of your personal information. Some criminals can use this information to commit identity theft.

Credit Card Fraud

There are some people who will use stolen credit card numbers to purchase goods from internet auction sites. This means that the sellers won't actually get paid. The sellers will come to know this after the delivery of the products.

Minimizing Fraud

The buyers should carefully familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions on the auction sites. It's important to make sure that the details given on the internet auction sites are genuine. Any fake auction sites will contain lots of grammatical and spelling errors. Auction fraud is a crime and should be reported to the police as soon as possible.

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