American Bank - Education Center
Online Auction Fraud
Thinking of bidding in an online auction, or selling some of your stuff?
Internet auctions are a great resource for shoppers and sellers, but you
need to watch out for some pitfalls.
What to watch out for
Carefully consider your method of
payment. Learn what recourse you have if something goes wrong.
Do not send cash, and do not use a money wiring service.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller,
time. Sites may charge fees, follow different rules, or offer
Know who you are dealing with.
Avoid doing business with sellers you can't identify, especially
those who try to lure you off the auction site with promises of a
better deal. Confirm the seller's telephone number in case you
have questions or problems.
Do not reply to or click any links in
phishing emails. Delete messages that look like they've been
sent by an auction website or payment service and ask for your
password or other personal information.
for more information about phishing emails.
Watch out for fake check scams.
If a "buyer" send you a check for more than your agreed upon price,
don't ship the item you are selling, don't cash the check, and don't
send the "buyer" any money. It is almost certainly a scam.
What to do if you have problems with a
If you have problems during a transaction, try to work them out directly
with the seller, buyer, or site operator. If that doesn't work,
file a complaint with:
The attorney general's office in your
Your county or state consumer
The Better Business Bureau
The Federal Trade Commission
This site is for educational purposes
and is not intended to provide legal advice. For specific advice
about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified
professional. Credits: Federal Trade Commission; Federal Bureau of
Investigation; Homeland Security; National Cyber Security Alliance.