eBay Fraud – Lawgistics Lucky 7

Many clients use eBay to purchase and sell stock. The process is quite easy but like all online transactions it is open to fraud.  There are a number of useful guides on the internet but let’s consider some of them.

1.    Misdescriptions

Some sellers try and elude you by using an excuse that they’re not an expert. Avoid these or be very wary.  They are already slippery before they do the deal with you. After the sale they will use their lack of expertise to suggest they didn’t know.
2.    Feedback inflation

Sellers can have multiple memberships and along with friends can boost up feedback selling ‘next to worthless’ items.

3.    Shipping to an unusual address

Here the buyer might claim to be in the UK but asks for the goods to be shipped abroad or to a brother on the M1 services. It is possible to set preferences to limit bids by UK buyers, select PayPal as the only payment and wait to deliver an item only after payment has been made – even if it’s a high bid!

4.    Send to a confirmed address using a trackable service

Remember that unless you have delivered to a confirmed address using a trackable service, PayPal will side with the buyer and chargeback the price for you.

5.    Second chance offers

Fraudsters will pick up on seeing buyers pipped at the post and make contact by email with details of the same goodies to sell you, but, of course, not the goodies themselves. As with all emails check them out and, of course check with the top buyer.

6.    Who is selling, what are they selling, where are they?

Think in these simple terms. Joe Public comes to visit you and opens a newspaper. He shows you an advertisement which gives a name, address, a phone number and details of some cars. He says to you “which car would you like?” You point to one. He says great – hand over the cash and I will deliver it tomorrow! Would you do that – no! But that’s exactly what the internet is. It’s an advertisement slightly more refined but still open to fraud because of the fact that all the information is VIRTUAL ...not VERIFIED. On top of this, if things go wrong, how are you going to sue them? You haven’t got their address, and probably can’t get it. There is an eBay toolbar with a feature called account guard. This turns green when on an official eBay or PayPal site.

7.    Use PayPal or other secure systems such as Escrow

It’s not ideal but far more secure than paying cheque or cash into a seller’s bank. Escrow is another way to add protection to the transaction. They act as a clearing house and won’t release money for the buyer to the seller until both parties are satisfied with the sale. The only eBay approved service is Escrow.com. The fees are agreed between buyer and seller.

Published: 20 Jun 2014


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