Avoiding Online Auction Fraud
Despite the increase in reports of cyber bulling through Facebook and other social media sites, the number one cybercrime that is reported is by far auction fraud. In particular, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has reported that they have especially seen an increase in auction fraud related to international car auctioning.
An auction that is run is internationally is one of the key signs that you are about to be tricked into giving a fraudster your money. Most of the time when a buyer falls for these tricks, the money is unrecoverable.
In some cases, this can be devastating, but there is nothing that the authorities can do. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is made up of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
They reported that the reports of internet crime made up 62% of the all the complaints that were called in. Undelivered merchandise or payment, credit and debit fraud, check fraud, investment fraud, computer fraud, and confidence fraud were the other categories in which the IC3 received complaints.
This center also stated that the second thing people should watch out for besides international auctioneers is what is called a “second chance auctions.” Second chance auctions are auctions in which the auctioneer contacts the second runner up and tells them that the first buyer fell through and that they can now purchase the item.
Often, the auctioneer will request the buyer to transfer the money to them through an unreliable method. Buyers should only agree to transactions that take place through reliable methods such as an escrow service.
An escrow service is one through which the money is transferred to a third party who is trust worthy that will hold the money until the transaction is completed, upon which the money is given to the seller. The escrow service transfers the money based on pre-determined specifications.
There are several things you should keep in mind as you try to avoid online fraud. The first thing you should do is learn about online fraud.
Learn what kinds of things can give a fraudster away so that you can avoid giving your money to them. You will also want to learn how the auction works, what the rules are, what kind of regulations you must hold to as the buyer, and what the seller’s is responsible for.
These things are all vitally important to know before you bid. In addition, you will want to research the seller.
This is vital to avoiding fraud and you will do it thoroughly every time you consider a bid if you are serious about avoiding fraud. Sometimes the only information placed online by a bidder is his or her email address.
Send a message to the seller requesting more information. If the seller is not forthcoming, do not place a bid as the seller is almost for sure a fraudster.
If the seller happens to be a business, look up the business on the Better Business Bureau. In addition to reviewing the personal information on the seller, you should read the reviews on the seller.
If there are not very many reviews, even if the reviews are good, you probably will want to find another place to purchase the goods. The seller should have long history with 95% positive reviews for you to trust him or her enough to make the purchase.
Remember that even with these precautions, a fraudster can still manipulate the review system on occasion. Be wary and watch out for other signs that you are deal with a fraudster.
Next, you will want to check and see what kind of payment the seller is asking for. Remember that if it is not a reliable, traceable way of payment, you will want to find another way to make the purchase.
You will also want to look at the auction’s policies. Learn what the auction site does when problems arise and warranties are requested.
It is also good to know what their policy is on delivery times, exchanges, and defective merchandise. By the time you are done you should also have a thorough understanding of how shipping and delivery works and how much it costs.
The costs of shipping and delivery are often expensive and this cost is often a surprise to buyers. Do not let this cost be a surprise to you.
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