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Buyers Tips

Classified Ads and Auction Sales Scams

Internet criminals post classified ads or auctions for products they do not have. If you receive an auction product from a merchant or retail store, rather than directly from the auction seller, the item may have been purchased with someone else's stolen credit card number.

Contact the merchant to verify the account used to pay for the item actually belongs to you.
Shoppers should be cautious and not provide financial information directly to the seller, as fraudulent sellers will use this information to purchase items for their scheme from the provided financial account. Always use a legitimate payment service to protect purchases.

As for product delivery, unfamiliar Web sites or individuals selling reduced or free shipping to customers through auction sites many times are deemed to be fraudulent. In many instances, these Web sites or sellers provide shipping labels to their customers as a service. However, the delivery service providers are ultimately not being paid to deliver the package; therefore, packages shipped by the victims using these labels are intercepted by delivery service providers because they are identified as fraudulent.

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, if they have a low total number of feedback postings and all feedback was posted around the same date and time.

TIPS:

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:

*Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.

*Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.

*Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan the attachments if possible.

*Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail
messages that ask for personal information.

*Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site.

*Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of "linking" to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.

*Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.

(Source: Internet Crime Complaint Center)

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