eBay.com attracts thousands (if not millions) of legitimate sellers and buyers from all over the world – I guess the auction site acccepts members from every country. It also opens business opportunities for thousands of scammers. Yes, many scam schemes from the 90’s are not working anymore. Unfortunately, eBay.com is not yet 100% safe place.
I know that many watch collectors shop on eBay regularly and find great deals there. Just keep it in mind. One should be on the alert all the time when you get offers too good to be true. Here is a story of a Girard-Perregaux watch seller:
When Al Iacofano’s dad asked him for help in selling a pricey Girard-Perregaux watch, the Perry Township man knew where he could get the best price.
He listed the watch on the popular Internet auction site eBay, confident that one of its 193 million members would bid at least the $1,600 he paid for it.
“Within 12 hours, I received a message from a man who offered to buy it for $4,000,” Iacofano said.
It was a good offer, just a few hundred bucks shy of retail – but not quite too good to be true.
But as with anything, especially selling a high-ticket item to a faceless customer halfway around the world, the devil is in the details.
Iacofano’s buyer turned out to be a thief with a seemingly endless list of stolen credit card numbers.
And while Iacofano caught the attempted fraud before it was too late, many buyers and sellers fall victim to scams like these perpetrated in the online marketplace.
Iacofano’s buyer, who claimed to be in Indonesia, made his offer through a personal message rather than by bidding on the item. This, experts say, is a common sign of fraud, indicating that the buyer is in a hurry to pay for the transaction, often because they are using a stolen credit card that they fear will soon be canceled. Other warning signs included the buyer’s low feedback score – a number that signifies an eBay member’s reputation from prior transactions.
He also wanted to avoid PayPal, a widely used online payment system, Iacofano said. All this raised some level of skepticism for Iacofano, who admitted a bit of wishful thinking with the prospect of a $4,000 sale.
“We kind of pushed some of those red flags aside, thinking, well, if he’s got a credit card and it gets approved, then we must be OK,” he said.
The buyer gave Iacofano 30 credit card numbers, all with different names.
Iacofano, in turn, reported each of the numbers to their respective companies in an effort to stop the thief.
While Iacofano recovered the watch after halting the shipment, he was out $235 in shipping costs.
Well, the above scam is too easy to spot; there more advanced and intelligent scammers on this market who are more cautious and inventive. I remember I used to sell some stuff on eBay. One day a wholesale buyer from Nigeria contacted me via e-mail, he was ready to buy all my listings and more in one bulk at a good price. As a resident of Nigeria (the country is not supported by PayPal) he wished to pay me with a credit card and also asked to ship all products on the same day with DHL. I agreed. He promptly submitted the online payment. Then I checked the payment details – the payer was from the USA. Sure thing, I did not ship the products and never heard from that Nigerian guy again (just from another one a few weeks later).
[tag]ebay, eBay online shopping, eBay selling, Google, Microsoft[/tag]