Holidays ~ Fraudulent Classified Ads and Auction Sales

It seems like every year at the holidays the amount of crime goes up, and that is the same in the world of internet crime.  The Internet Crime Complaint Center put out a warning about some things to be on the look out for, and I am going to share one with you each day.

Fraudulent Classified Ads and Auction Sales

If you are one of those people who cannot stand the crouds at the malls and want to do all of your holiday shopping online, you need to watch out for fraudulent classifed ads and auction sales. 

Here is the advice that the IC3 offers

Internet criminals post classified ads and auctions for products they do not have, and make the scam work by using stolen credit cards. Fraudsters receive an order from a victim, charge the victim’s credit card for the amount of the order, then use a separate, stolen credit card for the actual purchase. They pocket the purchase price obtained from the victim’s credit card and have the merchant ship the item directly to the victim. Consequently, an item purchased from an online auction but received directly from the merchant is a strong indication of fraud. Victims of such a scam not only lose the money paid to the fraudster, but may be liable for receiving stolen goods.

Shoppers may help avoid these scams by using caution and not providing financial information directly to the seller, as fraudulent sellers will use this information to purchase items for their schemes. Always use a legitimate payment service to ensure a safe, legitimate purchase.

As for product delivery, fraudsters posing as legitimate delivery services offer reduced or free shipping to customers through auction sites. They perpetuate this scam by providing fake shipping labels to the victim. The fraudsters do not pay for delivery of the packages; therefore, delivery service providers intercept the packages for nonpayment and the victim loses the money paid for the purchase of the product.

Diligently check each seller’s rating and feedback along with their number of sales and the dates on which feedback was posted. Be wary of a seller with 100% positive feedback, with a low total number of feedback postings, or with all feedback posted around the same date and time.