Ebay Auction Reseller Scams

Ebay (and other auction websites) auction reseller scams involve frauds in which scammers have figured out a way to fool sellers into shipping goods without receiving payment. Usually the buyer claims it's an 'emergency' of some sort ' a child's birthday, a member of the military shipping out ' and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that looks like it's from PayPal confirming the payment, but emails are easy to fake. Always confirm payment in your Ebay and PayPal accounts before shipping, especially to an overseas address.

attributable to the misrepresentation of a product advertised for sale through an Internet auction site or the non-delivery of products purchased through an Internet auction site.

Consumers are strongly cautioned against entering into Internet transactions with subjects exhibiting the following behavior:

  • The seller posts the auction as if he resides in the United States, then responds to victims with a congratulatory email stating he is outside the United States for business reasons, family emergency, etc. Similarly, beware of sellers who post the auction under one name, and ask for the funds to be transferred to another individual.
  • The subject requests funds to be wired directly to him/her via Western Union, MoneyGram, or bank-to-bank wire transfer. By using these services, the money is virtually unrecoverable with no recourse for the victim.
  • Sellers acting as authorized dealers or factory representatives in countries where there would be no such dealers should be avoided.
  • Buyers who ask for the purchase to be shipped using a certain method to avoid customs or taxes inside another country should be avoided.
  • Be suspect of any credit card purchases where the address of the card holder does not match the shipping address. Always receive the card holder's authorization before shipping any products.

If you believe you may have fallen victim to this type of scam and wish to report it, please file a complaint with the IC3.

In addition, visit eBay and PayPal for additional security alerts and fraud prevention tips.

How to avoid Ebay auction scams:

  • Before you buy, check the user's feedback.
  • Check how many items the user has sold, (stick to sellers who have been around for a while, have many sales and positive feedback)
  • Check what methods of payment that the seller accepts. Paypal is safe; cash or money orders only is a red flag.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

 


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Resources and Related Scams