Buy and Sell Scam

Beware of selling goods or services online. Fraudsters often send a generic message that expresses interest in purchasing the product or service without seeing it first and they offer to pay above the asking price in order to pay for the additional shipping costs. If the seller agrees, the seller may receive a fraudulent payment (e.g. counterfeit cheque), a compromised credit card payment, or a fake email that states that the payment is pending and that the payment will be processed only if the seller provides the tracking number to the fraudulent buyer. Payment is never received from the fraudulent buyer.

Buy and Sell Scam Clues
  • Be careful of products or services that are being sold at a very reduced price.
  • Scan the ad for spelling mistakes or referring to the product or service being listed as “the item” or “the service”.
  • Beware of potential buyers (who are likely in another country) that are interested in buying a product you are selling without seeing it first.
  • Beware of buyers who are offering to give you more for a product or service than you are asking for.
  • Beware of urgent messaging.
Buy and Sell Scam Defence
  • Know the market value or the average price that a product or service is being sold for.
  • Find and verify the contact information of a buyer or seller before you buy or sell.
  • When purchasing a product, check reviews and ratings of the product and or seller.
  • When making a purchase, use a payment method that has fraud protection (e.g. pay by credit card).
  • When possible, exchange items and deal with payment in person.
  • Review the legitimacy of the buyer or seller.
  • Never send money to get money.
  • Check online to see if the buyer or seller has been reported as fraudulent.



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