Once upon a time eBay was a safe place to buy and sell items online, but the reality for safe trading on eBay is very different now and no eBay member is safe unless they take a few necessary precautions. Below is a list of how to protect yourself from fraudsters and eBay scammers.
- Always check the eBay user’s feedback rating, a low feedback rating may indicate that this eBay user is untrustworthy. Also look at any Negative feedback the eBay user has. If the eBay user has numerous/lots of negative feedback they may be untrustworthy.
Avoid Buying or Selling to eBay users who a from Nigeria or request shipment to Nigeria, Africa etc. They may be scammers using stolen accounts or stolen credit cards to buy you items. If you accept a payment from a stolen credit card you could be liable for any charge-backs the real owner of the card issues and you will lose the item and will have to pay back the money to the card owner.
- When Selling expensive items always insure your items and use a tracked number. Do not make Insurance Optional. NOTE: Express Post is not a tracked service as Australia Post can not provide a proof of delivery for your items. If you have to use Registered Post Instead. Registered Post comes with Item Insurance for items up to $100, you can pay for additional insurance at Australia Post up to $500.
- Never buy from Sellers who claim to have large numbers of High Value Items. These listings may be fake. eg 20 items in 1 listing.
- Do not buy from Sellers who ask you to send email to an unverified email address stated on the listing. If you do the seller will take your money and you wont receive a thing.
- Contact The Seller: If you suspect you have purchased a fraudulent item, contact the seller/buyer, if they do not reply contact eBay and Paypal.
- Use Ebay’s Toolbar function, this toolbar is useful in checking the authenticity of eBay email you receive.
- Paypal never requests the seller to ship the item first before the payment is received. If you get any email form Paypal stating this report it to eBay its fake. Don’t fall for this scam.
- Always pay using a secure credit card merchant such as Paypal or Paymate so you'll be covered.
- Dont bid/buy on something which sounds too good to be true as it will most likely be too good to be true.
- Don’t open email sent from Paypal or eBay which has gone to your spam folder, delete them. EBay and Paypal never address their emails with Dear Customer, Dear Account holder instead of your name.
- Also look out for people who do chargeback’s. This is when someone pays for the goods, and after a few weeks or even days (basically after you've sent the item) they will process a chargeback with Paypal. By this time most people delete the information needed to prove the claim therefore you lose out. To avoid this always keep records of transactions and anything else related to that transaction for evidence.
- Keep Records of All Email Correspondence and Shipment Confirmations as evidence
- Use the Block Bidders Function of EBay to avoid scammers.
- Block problematic eBay accounts. If you have a bad experience with a particular eBay member don’t let it occur again. Block those particular eBay accounts so they can’t cause trouble for you in the future.
- Contact Your Credit Card Company: If you have been scammed contact your credit card company (by law you are protected from any fraudulent activity for 7/14 days) Don’t leave it too late. You can contact the police as well, they will issue you a crime number, send this to the fraudulent ebayer, they may read your emails but just wont reply, if you show them a crime number, they would probably be scared and give you the money back. Request their contact details as well by searching it on help; at least you'll know where they live and their contact number.
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