How can you鸿运彩票手机app avoid some common Craigslist & PayPal scams?
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As selling you鸿运彩票手机appr used stuff online has become commonplace, so have scams taking advantage of people by using the names of reputable online companies.
Here are some of the most common PayPal scams out there so you鸿运彩票手机app can play it safe — especially if you鸿运彩票手机app’re selling large items (refrigerator, furniture, car, boat, RV) that the seller wants to pick up locally.
Adapted from an article by Christina Tusan – Attorney,
Tips that someone’s trying to steal from you鸿运彩票手机app or rip you鸿运彩票手机app off
One reader writes: “Within an hour of posting our RV for sale on Craigslist, we got a text from a deaf woman who wanted to buy it as a gift for her son at asking price, sight unseen, via PayPal. We texted her back to say we’d take a cashier’s check only, and that we won’t sell it to anyone sight unseen.
“She wrote back that her job and disability kept her from coming to see it or go to the bank, but she’s ready to pay right now — and if he doesn’t have a PayPal account, it’s really easy to set one up.”
Sadly, this type of scenario isn’t uncommon. What’s really going on? It’s often a ruse to steal you鸿运彩票手机appr personal information, money and/or merchandise.
The scam generally goes like this: You post a high-value item, like a used car, for sale online — such as on . In no time at all, you鸿运彩票手机app get an email from a buyer willing to pay full price — or more! They don’t even need to see the item in person.
However, he or she sets conditions: they are only willing to pay by PayPal, and/or insists the sale must happen right away.
A note about using Paypal to sell to local buyers
An important note to begin: PayPal is a reliable service — but only for certain types of transactions.
Some key points from the PayPal terms: .
To qualify for Seller Protection, whatever you鸿运彩票手机app’re selling must be a physical, tangible item that can be shipped and you鸿运彩票手机app must ship to the address on the Transaction Details page — and you鸿运彩票手机app must have proof of shipment.
These rules also mean that intangible items, such as services and downloads/digital goods, are not covered.
How to avoid some common Craigslist & PayPal scams
Here are a few of the suspicious situations to look for and steps to safe selling online:
PayPal scam scenario 1:
The buyer claims he can only pay via PayPal. Don’t have a PayPal account? No problem, he says. He’ll send you鸿运彩票手机app an email with a link so you鸿运彩票手机app can set one up.
What should you鸿运彩票手机app do? Don’t take the bait. The link will send you鸿运彩票手机app to a website masquerading as PayPal. Any information you鸿运彩票手机app enter will be collected by the bogus buyer, and may be used to commit fraud. If you鸿运彩票手机app need to set up an account, go directly to PayPal.com.
PayPal scam scenario 2:
“Check you鸿运彩票手机appr email!” The buyer claims he has sent payment to you鸿运彩票手机appr PayPal account with additional funds so you鸿运彩票手机app can ship the merchandise ASAP… but oops — he sent too much money. He asks you鸿运彩票手机app to return the extra money via a money wiring service. If the buyer claims to have sent extra money, and asks for some back, that’s a big red flag that you鸿运彩票手机app’re being played.)
It’s all a lie.
What should you鸿运彩票手机app do? Log into you鸿运彩票手机appr PayPal account. Make sure you鸿运彩票手机app’ve been paid before you鸿运彩票手机app ship. Never click or follow links in emails from people you鸿运彩票手机app don’t know.
The safest approach is to open a new browser window, navigate to PayPal.com, and log in you鸿运彩票手机apprself.
PayPal scam scenario 3:
The buyer sends you鸿运彩票手机app real money through a real PayPal account, and you鸿运彩票手机app ship him the car. Problem is — as you鸿运彩票手机app find out later — the account belongs to someone else!
You might need to return the money — even though the scammer has you鸿运彩票手机appr wheels.
What to do if you鸿运彩票手机app’ve been scammed
Contact and you鸿运彩票手机appr local police department. Then, if you鸿运彩票手机app can bring you鸿运彩票手机apprself to do it, tell you鸿运彩票手机appr friends and family about what happened. Hopefully, you鸿运彩票手机app can help keep the same thing from happening to them.
Newer scams: Don’t pay for things with gift cards
If someone calls you鸿运彩票手机app with something for sale, urgent news or a convincing story, and then pressures you鸿运彩票手机app to pay them with a gift card — like an iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Kroger, Walgreens, BestBuy, Amazon, CVS or Rite Aid gift card –and then tells you鸿运彩票手机app to give them the codes on the back of the card, stop. It’s almost certainly a scam.
These cards are like giving cash – and that money is practically untraceable, unless you鸿运彩票手机app are lucky enough to be able to act immediately.
The FTC says that as of 2018, gift cards are the number one payment method that imposters demand. They might pose as IRS officials and say you鸿运彩票手机app’re in trouble for not paying taxes; or a family member with an emergency; or a public utility company threatening to shut off you鸿运彩票手机appr water; or even a servicemember selling something before deployment.
They might even call with great news – you鸿运彩票手机app’ve won a contest or a prize! But to get it, you鸿运彩票手机app need to pay fees with a gift card.
Scammers will say anything to get you鸿运彩票手机appr money. And they know how to play into you鸿运彩票手机appr good nature, desire to help, hopes, fears and sympathies. They like gift cards because, once they’ve got the code on the back, the money is gone and almost impossible to trace.
If you鸿运彩票手机app bought a gift card and lost money to a scammer, immediately contact the company who issued the card. Call or email iTunes, Target, Amazon or whatever merchant it was from, and tell them that one or more of their gift cards were used in a scam.
Have all of the code numbers available. If you鸿运彩票手机app act quickly enough, they might be able to stop the redemption and get you鸿运彩票手机app you鸿运彩票手机appr money back.
Bottom line: If someone says that to get money or payment you鸿运彩票手机app have to first give them money — or merchandise or a gift card or you鸿运彩票手机appr car — it’s a scam.