Scam Sellers - fraud - warning signs - red flags SCAMS

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It seems too good to be true. If there are a number of warning signs it makes it easier to protect oneself from being scammed.

Warning signs, red flags:
  • new zero feedback seller selling a lot of high priced items, prices seem to good to be true.
  • ebay account that was been inactive for a period of time - and is now selling expensive items, it could be a hijacked account (hijacked account = scammer has gained access to the ebay account and is using it to sell without the knowledge of the ebayer who the ebay ID belongs to)
  • hijacked account - they sell non existent goods and take your money and you receive nothing
  • Seller suddenly has numerous listings of high price items of a type of product they did not sell before and country location is now different
  • Appear to be Australian sellers asking Australian buyers for  Western Union transfer or Western Union money order
  • Ebay account appears to have only been used for buying and now is selling high priced items, the country location in the listings is different to the country of registration.
  • Previous listings and current listings have a different country location. The style and/or wording of the previous listings is very different to the new listings.
The listing is an advertisement to get you to email the seller (seller is pretending to sell items) there are many variations:
  • seller states not to bid before emailing them (there are valid exceptions eg., heavy item and seller states international bidders email for postage cost before bidding)
  • seller states you are not to bid, must email them to get details on how to buy the item
  • sellers states their email is not working and you must email them using the email address they have provided on the screen, must email them before bidding
High risk items:
  • expensive items, rare collector items, collector hobby items, plasma, LCD TVs, laptops, computers, electronics
Time frame
  • Leading up to Christmas is a popular time for scammers - there are public holidays which gives scammers time. You pay and the scammer hopes by the time you realise you have been conned they have enough time to get the money and move on.
  • high priced items and one day listings, what is the big hurry? (exception would be for something like concert tickets where there is a deadline/concert date).
  • expensive items listed for 1 day - ebay fees and add options are expensive, sellers usually want their listings to appear on ebay for a decent period of time to get as much exposure as possible to increase the chance of selling the item.
  • 1 day listings and non existent goods and illegal items e.g., fake designer brands, pirated/bootleg cds, dvds - sellers need to be quick, the longer they are on ebay the greater their chances of being caught
payment methods
  • scam/fraud sellers like payment methods where the buyer has no protection or it makes it difficult for the buyer to get their money back
  • cash, money orders, wiring/transfering money to an overseas account, Western Union transfers
Been scammed or you strongly suspect or know a listing is a scam
  • Been scammed report it to ebay and provide as much detail as possible
  • suspect or know a listing is a scam - report to ebay, it might take ebay a number of days before they are able to investigate - could try reporting through live help.
Have a lovely day - sunflowercastle
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