Internet Auction Fraud Prevention Tips

As more and more people use the Internet to do their regular shopping and to do online banking the incident of Internet fraud increases. In fact, Internet auction fraud was the most reported fraud, making up 44.9 % of the complaints the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received in 2006.

We compiled a list of tips you can use to prevent Internet Auction Fraud from happening to you. Some prevention tips include the following:

  • Learn how the auction runs. Find what obligations you have as a buyer, and what obligations the seller has before you make a bid.
  • Before bidding on an item on an online site like eBay. Find out what the website/company does when a conflict arises with shipping or payment.
  • Read up on the seller, any comments left by previous buyers, to find out if it's a reputable seller. If it’s a business selling items online, look them up at the Better Business Bureau to find out what kind of company they are, and if they're legit.
  • Look at the method of payment that the seller accepts and where the buyer is to send the payment. If you're making an online payment, make sure the site is secured.
  • Note if a problem arises with the auction transaction, it'll be harder to resolve the problem if the seller is located outside of the country. This is because different countries have different laws regarding auctions.
  • Ask the seller how long the delivery will take, and if there is any warranty or if you can exchange the merchandise, if there is a problem.
  • Determine if the shipping and delivery are included in the price or if it's extra, so there won't be any surprises when you get your bill.
  • Refuse to give out your social insurance number of driver's license number to the seller. Protect your personal information to reduce the risk of from falling victim to identity theft fraud .

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.