Scams - red flags - warning signs - fraud scam buyers

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Many sellers and buyers are honest and good to deal with. But there are some scam sellers/buyers. This is my experience with a buyer who was going to commit fraud and trying to scam me and a number of other sellers.

Fraud and buyers - sometimes there are a number of warning signs. In this case it was an international buyer purchasing an expensive item from me and from other sellers, all of the points stated below were present. The other sellers were based overseas, they found the buyer very convincing.

The scam buyer was going to sting the sellers twice. Once for the goods and again for the payment. The buyer was going to end up with the goods and the buyer was going to have cancelled payments refunded, trying to get sellers to return/refund non-existent payment(s).
  • new account, no feedback, buying a number of same/duplicate very expensive items locally and internationally
  • does not care how expensive international postage or courier cost is for a large/heavy parcel
  • does not mind over-paying for postage and insurance, in such a hurry they do not want to wait to get an accurate postage/shipping price
  • international buyer can buy the same item in their own country for hundreds of dollars cheaper, and the international postage is very expensive for the particular item they are buying
  • want the item in a big hurry, keep stressing they want it shipped quickly, for whatever reason time is short, gift, birthday, christmas, sick person, for friend, family member - sometimes honest buyers do make this request
  • item is being sent to a different name and address to the ebay and paypal details (honest buyers sometimes do request that the item be sent elsewhere)
  • buyer does not want the over-payment refunded - we are not taking about a few cents or couple of dollars.
  • buyer wants the items sent before seller has received payment
  • buyer wants item(s) sent before payment has cleared - item being purchased costs hundreds of dollars
  • phone number on ebay does not exist or is disconnected, or the phone number is working but they tell you it is disconnected because the phone number belongs to someone else and they do not want you to call that number.
  • when doing a search to find their name, address,  telephone number, those details either do not exist or they differ to what you have been provided by ebay and/or by the buyer
  • they cancel the payment hoping you have already posted out the item
  • they want you to reverse/return/refund the payment that they have cancelled - return a payment that does not exist
Buyer is using someone elses name, address, telephone number and asking you to send to a different name, address, phone number (the details of the person you are sending to, is actually the person who is doing the buying but pretending to be someone else and using someone else's identity). The buyer would then have no trouble signing for the insured parcel at the post office.

The buyer was purchasing numerous expensive items and the same scenario was unfolding for each seller the buyer was trying to scam.

If there are a number of red flags/warning signs it makes it easier to realise one is being scammed

If you know or strongly suspect you are being scammed if you report it to ebay (and if a paypal payment is involved then report to paypal as well) they will investigate.

Scam buyers of expensive items have to work quickly, the quicker everything happens the greater the chances of them being able to get away with it - the common theme is the rush to get the sellers to post out. Quick quick so the seller has no time to think and notice red flags.

Have a lovely day - sunflowercastle
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