Proper care when shopping online auctions

Online auction and selling sites are great places to do business, whether you are a buyer or seller, but none are 100% safe.  Just with the sheer volume of business done daily on places like eBay, it is impossible for the most conscientious and competent site to regulate against fraud with absolute total success.

Here are a few things you might want to watch out for when conducting business on auction/shopping sites.

The first is auction fraud, which occurs when an item advertised for sale or auction is misrepresented or simply never delivered.

Something else to be careful of is hijacking identity.  This happens when a scammer accesses the identity of a real seller and steals that identity in order to list fake items and then charges those items to the real sellers account.  Once discovered, these hackers usually just disappear.

Some sellers create totally fraudulent identities from the start.  Then, they offer non-existent items for sale and keep collecting money until they are found out.  Because these fake sellers use multiple IP addresses and domains, it can make it very hard for authorities to ever hunt them down.

Account hijacking is among the top three frauds committed on eBay.  Talented hackers breach user’s firewalls and access everything about them.

A second chance offer is usually a fraud.  This scam involves the con man reviewing losing bids on high price items and sending a phony second chance to purchase the item at a reduced price, only the item doesn’t exist and is never delivered.

So, while doing business on these sites can present really good opportunities, always be wise about anything that seems too good to be true and do everything possible to protect your computer and your identity.