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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