13 Red Flags of a Fraudulent eBay Transaction

February 26, 2009 at 5:25 am Leave a comment

I have been a member of eBay—both as seller and buyer—for more than three years. I have been very fortunate that I have never been scammed. Truth be told, I have spent several thousands of pesos buying Archie comics outside of eBay but this is an exception because the seller inu_mktg turned out to be a very trustworthy person.

But others are not as lucky. In the discussion board of eBay Philippines, I always see threads warning others of scammers or desperately looking for a way to retrieve their hard-earned money. It’s always the same. Seller has low feedback scores, offers gadgets at dirt-cheap prices, and provides limited payment options.

I do my part in helping the eBay community be rid of scammers (and joybidders). Whether you’re an experienced eBayer, it’s still best to refresh yourself with the 13 red flags to warn a bidder of a fraudulent transaction. Credit is due to eBayers jenny_lake and silverstrad, who compiled and edited these materials. For a detailed explanation, please check this link.

Most people who are defrauded are victims of their own greed. When a transaction appears to be too good to be true, it likely is. Application of common sense can preserve your money.

1. A popular item is offered for a price which seems too good to be true
2. An ‘off-eBay’ transaction is conducted through email
3. Payment options provide little or no security for the buyer
4. Misleading claims of transaction security or buyer protection
5. Item is no longer listed on eBay
6. Item is listed on Craiglist or similar
7. Item is listed on a hijacked account
8. Escrow other than escrow.com is used
9. A fraudulent Second Chance Offer is sent
10. The seller’s location may be a clue to a fraudulent transaction (China, India, Nigeria, etc)
11. Free shipping from a distant country
12. No photo or stock photos are used
13. The bidder needs to be pre-approved or the item is listed in a private auction

To report a suspected fraudulent auction, go to the ‘Contact Us’ web form here:

Final word: Don’t be a victim of your own greed and be blinded by cheap prices. Practice common sense always. If it’s too good to be true, it must be. Let’s help keep eBay clean and safe.


Entry filed under: Shopping. Tags: , , , , , , .

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