How to Avoid eBay Scams and Fraud

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Countless people have been scammed and
defrauded on eBay. eBay is a fun place to bid on
items and to sell items – but you must know how to
recognize a scam, and how to avoid them, them or
you quickly join the ranks of those who have lost
their money to eBay scams. Of course, if you are
scammed, there are some actions you can take to
correct the situation – but in many cases, the
scammer does indeed get away! The best option is
to avoid being scammed.

You can easily avoid many scams with the payment
method that you use – whether you are a buyer or a
seller. eBay owns Paypal, and in most cases,
Paypal is the payment method you should use. First,
as a buyer, if you are scammed or less than
satisfied with the item when it arrives, you can
dispute the charge easily, and demand a refund. The
seller must reply and show proof that the item was
shipped, and that it arrived in the condition that you
expected, or Paypal will return your funds to your
account.

As a seller, you can protect yourself by only
accepting Paypal. This will eliminate the chances of
receiving a bad check or having the buyer dispute a
credit card charge. Instead, they must dispute the
charge through paypal, and you of course will be able
to prove that you shipped the product. You cannot,
however, prove that the product arrived in the
condition that was expected. In this case, you should
demand that the product be returned to you before the
refund is issued.

Another common scam that buyers use is the
bidding scam. This type of scam is run either with
two separate eBay accounts – with one person in
control of both of them, or with two friends with
separate eBay accounts. A very small bid is placed
on your item, using one account. This is followed by
a very high bid, from the other eBay account. Right
before the bidding ends, the high bid is cancelled or
withdrawn, leaving the low bid as the winning bid.
This bid can only be avoided by setting a reserve price
 – the lowest bid that can be placed is the same as the
reserve price that you set.

If you are an eBay seller, you can further protect
your auctions by placing a notice on your auctions
page, declaring that you have the right to back out
of the sale if you suspect potential fraud. As both a
buyer and a seller, also beware of spoofed emails.
These emails appear to be from eBay. The email
may claim that you need to verify your information,
and ask you to login to your eBay account, using
the link provided. If you follow that link, the site looks
exactly like eBay, but it is actually a scam to get
your eBay login details, as well as your credit card
details! eBay will never ask you to do this. If you
suspect a spoofed email, report it to eBay
immediately!

Don’t let scammers ruin your eBay fun! Just use
good common sense, and a reasonable amount of
caution, and everything should run smoothly. Report
suspicious activity to eBay, and if a deal doesn’t feel
right, simply back away from it and move on to the
next auction.

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