Concerned you are about to be scammed? Taking action and not being silent is the first plan of attack. Ask an attorney, ask your banker for their assistance, both ideas are solid. This article is being written to help you understand the tricks of the scamming community and how to not fall prey to these criminals.
Not all of these tips may appear within any one scammer's attempts to fraud you, but only ONE could stop you from getting scammed. Pay attention to the most important phrase Americans are familiar with, “If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is”. There is no one specific gender, race, educational level for being a victim of a scam. As an online selling professional, I have seen high school principals nearly scammed by buying a Chevy truck 400 miles away using a bank wire transfer to pay. A $16K truck he was about to purchase for $8,000. This situation came to my attention during a routine business meeting on the site of a school who was a client of ours. The assistant to the principal was concerned, and stopped me for my opinion. Special blessings for the principal, we stopped this transaction in its tracks.
On another occasion in 2007 I sold a Harley Davidson for a gentleman who expected cash at pick up on a Tuesday. The guy showed up from Virginia the day before, unannounced with a check. My client called me, we quickly made the assessment to of course not take the check. His intent was not honest. That was quite a hike to go home with nothing. Except his worthless checks.
Checks and cashiers checks are both of concern when receiving these as payments for big ticket items. Banks hold each for clearing, up to 7 days. They do this for a reason. Over time many criminals have figured ways to counterfeit cashier's checks. Do not accept those unless you are involved with the bank who issued it. Bank wire transfers are solid, and are our preferred method of payment.
If you are receiving a check in the mail for the purchase of anything, with additional funds being added just for your trouble, that check is 99% guaranteed to be a fraud. Buyers do this to trip you up, and in some cases they ask you to take the extra money and pay the transport agent coming to get the item they purchased. This is a really big scam that has been going on for years. Often they pay you extra saying it is because they can’t meet in person.
Did you receive a check as payment via overnight delivery, Fedex or UPS? Often a scammer wants to not give you time to think. Overnight means less chance you have time to dig into the sale he is proposing. Often people who have been scammed don’t even talk about it until weeks after the scam occurred. I have worked many public trade shows and events and heard many terrible stories of scamming. Often people never talk about it. One gentleman purchased a $3500 Camry via a check in the mail, for his granddaughter. The car was never delivered, most likely there was no car to sell.
Did you receive a personal payment most likely a check, without ever speaking to the seller over the phone? A classic red flag. Unless this person has a reputable online presence, business card or LinkedIn profile, I would definitely say this is a top red flag. A Cardinal Rule for me is if someone is a serious buyer they will call you. Texting only, is a big red flag and the excuses to not talk are often believable. So in my world, before a sale occurs, let’s talk about this Model A you want to buy over the internet. Give me your full name, your address. Then, at a minimum I check Facebook for a profile and google their name and address.
If the buyer you are selling is stating they received a Nigerian bank wire, a lottery windfall or even Publishers Clearing house, rest assured the buyer is trying to scam you.
Other common frauds today involve money laundering, where you are paid commissions to receive money and forward it on to another agency or entity. It seems so innocent, but it is financially dangerous. It is fraudulent and you could lose way more than you intended to by giving out your personal banking information.
Finally, be sure the payments you get come from the person you are contracting to sell to. Many scams are paid by a third party to dilute the trail to find and prosecute the criminal.
Online buying and selling is here to stay, and for those who are unfamiliar with the rules, the tricks and the scams can be quite intimidating. Using credit cards, and watching those accounts activity weekly is a smart way to protect yourself. Use only one card for buying online, to keep the buying process simple.
Using online selling services to sell valuable assets, such as Cardinal Selling Services ensures you have less risk for being scammed. We provide mainly Business to Business services, yet do often work with individuals with valuable assets.
Cheers to being prepared when shopping online!
Cardinal Selling Services
308 E 11th St.
Huntingburg, IN 47542
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