Avoiding Online Auction Scams

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If you’re going to purchase from online bidders, DON’T pay by money order or check. Pay by credit card always. So IF YOU DON’T GET THE MERCHANDISE, you can challenge the charges. Be prepared to call your credit card customer service, to dispute charges. Let them know the charge MUST be taken off. Make sure the con artist isn’t profitable from your stolen money.

Definitely make sure you verify the seller’s identify. Check his or reputation to see if there have been complaints left by other buyers. It’s better to be safe than sorry.The best way to verify the seller’s identity is through research. Check for competition to get the best prices. You can never know enough about the items you’ve got your eyes on.

Ignore communication from sellers outside the auction. They’re just going to be distractions towards a competitive bidding. You won’t be fooled by “deals too good to be true” because you’ve already done a good amount of research.

Before clicking anything that involves you opening your wallet, read all the available descriptions. Read descriptions of the products. Definitely be aware of their shipping policies. Pay especially close attention to fine print as well as any written section that seems ambiguous. Always read AT LEAST TWICE.

Finally, print all records of your online transactions. If you’re on a laptop, install freeware like PDF redirect that can allow you to convert the printout to a pdf instead. Keeping accurate records is the best way to be on top of things.

But what if documentation isn’t enough? What if all your efforts still didn’t stop the bad guy? Your last option is to send your complaints online to www.ftc.gov. Hopefully they can settle the situation.

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