The Better Business Bureau Serving Northeast Florida & The Southeast Atlantic is warning consumers of Easy Yard Sale, an alleged online escrow company with fake credentials.
Lured by attractive prices in online ads, consumers report sellers using Easy Yard Sale as their agent. Customers are asked to register with the business and are contacted by the seller to wire money to the United Kingdom for goods their website claims they have in possession.
So why are consumers falling for this scam? Easy Yard Sale takes advantage of the escrow service model. An escrow operates as an intermediary between the buyer and seller. Meaning, an escrow company takes the consumers money before delivering the product.
There are legitimate providers of this service, but Easy Yard Sale uses altered founders on their website and made a false online BBB Business Review and rating. In their About Us page, the company copied photos of eBay’s management and changed their names and employment history. EBay denies any affiliation and said, “the executives names have been altered and they are not affiliated with this business.”
Further, the company touts two founders in London, UK. BBB research found they are for a legitimate similar company in Vermont, US who deny any affiliation. BBB also believes images and videos used on the company’s website and on other promotional sites have been altered.
Based on the foregoing, BBB is concerned with the accuracy and legitimacy of customer reviews on blogs. One review claimed, “Their simple but effective methods caught my attention in the first place and I was amazed on how quick the transaction went. They most definitely are NOT a scam.” These also seem to counter the experience of at least one consumer who reported that they failed to receive the trailer they paid for despite multiple promises of delivery.
BBB could not locate any corporate or other registration for this business and the address listed appears to be non-existent. According to the United States Postal Service, it is a non-deliverable address. See Easy Yard Sale’s business review for more: go.bbb.org/1jDHOan
Your BBB advises consumers to investigate all online businesses before doing business with them. Review our tips on how to spot a fake online company below.
How to Spot a Fake Company:
Contact your Better Business Bureau. Visit BBB.org or contact your local Better Business Bureau.
Read reviews and contact the company. Find out about the experience of other customers and assess the level of service provided.
Check the address with Google and the Postal Service: Do a simple google map search and contact postal authorities to identify the physical location.
Before providing any information, find out about the method of payment. Do not use wire transfers or money cards. If your purchase falls through, it is unlikely you can recover funds.
Watch Out for unrealistic offers. If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Unrealistic offers are used to motivate purchasers to make hasty decisions.
Verify VIN Numbers if purchasing an auto or trailer. Services are available which can provide the history of a vehicle or trailer for salvage, theft, and for identification purposes.
For further information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, contact Tom Stephens, President BBB Serving Northeast Florida & Southeast Atlantic.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2013, consumers turned to BBB 131 million times for Business Reviews on more than 6.5 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.