Knowing how to spot an eBay scammer will eliminate the possibility of you becoming a victim of fraud. The Internet Crimes Commission reports auction fraud as the number one financial crime on the Internet. There are several ways to prevent becoming the victim of a scam.
To spot an eBay scammer, you will need:
- Internet access
- EBay Account
- Select a product you are interested in purchasing. Once you have found an item, click on the seller's name. Thoroughly view the seller’s feedback and pay particular attention to the number of positive feedback compared to the number of negative feedback. Avoid purchasing items from sellers with no feedback. An eBay scammer may create multiple accounts to list items, and may not have had an opportunity to establish a lot of feedback. Once you determined the feedback are reliable, continue to the next step.
- Look at the location of the product. If the location listed is in a different country, you may want to avoid purchasing the item. Products purchased from overseas sellers are one of the largest areas of non-shipment of items. eBay scammers are also likely to tell the purchaser and state that they are out of the country and need the money sent to them in another country. This should be a red flag to a purchaser.
- Review the payment options for the product. If the seller accepts PayPal or credit cards, you will most likely receive your item due to the guarantee placed on these payment options. Avoid sending checks or money orders and wire transfers for a product. Wire transfers are preferred by eBay scammers because the money is not easily tracked out of country.
- Check who is bidding against you. If the people bidding against you have little or no feedback, they may be accounts used by the seller to raise the ending price for a product. A series of similar names with little or no feedback can be a sign of a large scam. This is one of the most commonly unrecognized forms of an eBay scam. eBay scammers may create multiple accounts and bid against you for their own items. This is done to raise the ending cost and create a larger profit for the seller.