Rare is it that a seller gets the upper hand of a buyer or so it may seem. Generally, many think in terms of a buyer being taken advantage of by purchasing faulty merchandise or receiving poor customer service or no service at all. However, when dealing with online business transactions, sellers are just as likely to be taken advantage of as buyers. Sellers have to be especially vigilant about payments received. There are so many ways that a seller can be taken advantage of. Here are just a few ways:
- A buyer might want to pay with a check. The check could bounce or it might be counterfeit.
- Credit cards aren’t necessarily safe either. They could have been stolen or the purchaser might change his/her mind about the purchase or deny ever having ordered it and reverse the charges.
- Cash is fine as long as it isn’t counterfeit.
- The use of third-party services such as PayPal, which guarantees that sellers using eBay will receive money and buyers will receive their merchandise, may be a safe route to go when using eBay. Online criminals are always trying to figure out ways to work around any online, safety measures put into place and employ the below tactics:
- An email disguised in legitimacy. It has been reported that emails purportedly from PayPal are sent that ask for tracking numbers to be emailed back, before money will be deposited into one’s account. The emails are not from PayPal but an imposter.
- Another scenario of this disguised email involves a request to click a URL link confirming the business transaction. The link then takes you to a very convincing website that appears to be from PayPal. On this site you are requested to log-in, which in essence gives the webmaster access to your PayPal account and the credit card or bank account that was used in setting up your PayPal.
- Sometimes, con artists will use PayPal accounts that they hacked to pay for merchandise. If a lot of consumers fall for the email phishing schemes mentioned above, then there will be a lot of accounts at these con artists’ disposal!
- Using a legitimate PayPal account, a con artist may employ a different scheme by requesting that an item be shipped to an address that has not been verified by PayPal. PayPal policy will not insure any merchandise sent to an “unverified” address. This is a loophole that con artists have successfully exploited that people need to be aware of.
Sellers, too, can be ripped off when making online purchases. If you are a victim of an online scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission and report the scam to the webhost. Should you have any questions, call the BBB and we’d be glad to help!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcolman/6876230607/”>jcolman</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>