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How To Protect Yourself From Fraud On Ebay

Aug 17, 2007
Fraud in online auctions like Ebay and Yahoo are a growing concern. This fraud has grown quickly due to the quick turnaround, fast cash, and hard to trace aspects of online transactions. Most fraud is still coming from overseas out of countries like Nigeria and Spain, but they use accounts of people in the U.S. or set up fake accounts so it can be harder to detect. This fraud can range from an Ipod that was never delivered, to cars in much worse shape then described, or even buyers sending fake checks, money orders for more than the full amount, etc. There are still a lot of great positive deals made every day through Ebay, but you need to be wary of fraud.

Here is what to watch for:

1. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. When you see an item way below where it should be, do not get caught up in thinking you are getting the deal of the century. Instead use the tools Ebay has to offer to do a little research. You can look at completed listings for the same item and see what the going price range should be. If the price is extraordinarily low there must be a reason why.

2. Feedback ratings. Feedback is what sets Ebay apart from all other sales avenues. But it is not foolproof. Lately a lot of fraud has been attributed to account takeovers or feedback manipulation. Do not just go by their feedback score. Look into it. If it has been over a year since their last feedback entry then there may be something fishy going on there. Feedback is a good indicator, but should not be solely relied upon.

3. Grammar. This is key. According to Ebay fraud statistics, over 90 percent of fraudulent listings contain poor grammar. Read the listing. If it is very poorly written it is usually a dead giveaway that it is a fraudulent listing by someone in a foreign country. If they can not spell and have horrible grammar do not buy. Its just like spam email. Most of the Nigerian and similar scams have poor grammar and spelling.

4. Look for authentic licenses and such when purchasing medical or cosmetic supplies. Call and verify their licensing. Upon perusing through the Ebay site, I looked up TCA peel and found this person claiming to be a doctor. Upon review it was found that they had posted a fake doctors diploma (not a license) as their credentials. Upon contacting their state medical board they never had a license and are not a doctor or medically licensed in any way. Upon contacting the seller it turns out their contact number is at a coffee shop at a mall. Very sketchy and outright dangerous. Make sure you qualify your Ebay sellers, look into them and make sure they are who they claim to be, and when they are not, report them to the appropriate authorities so they will not hurt anyone else.

5. Some purchases like laptops may be better off at your local discount store like Costco or BJs. The price will be about the same and you have zero chance of fraud. Also there is no risk of the item being lost in the mail.

There you have it, how to avoid getting ripped off or hurt by fraud on Ebay and other online auction sites like Yahoo. Bottom line, do not buy or bid with money you can not afford to lose.
About the Author
David Maillie is Cornell Alumni and award winning writer and researcher. For more great free info, tips and ideas like this please visit the award winning and nationally top rated blog: http://www.bestbraindrain.com
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