Monday, December 6, 2010

Fraudulent Classified Ads and Auction Sales

From Margie Tann iSekurity
Source: Wall Street Journal

Internet criminals post classified ads and auctions for products they do not have,
and make the scam work by using stolen credit cards. Fraudsters receive an order
from a victim, charge the victim's credit card for the amount of the order, then
use a separate, stolen credit card for the actual purchase. They pocket the purchase
price obtained from the victim's credit card and have the merchant ship the item
directly to the victim. Consequently, an item purchased from an online auction but
received directly from the merchant is a strong indication of fraud. Victims of
such a scam not only lose the money paid to the fraudster, but may be liable for
receiving stolen goods.

Shoppers may help avoid these scams by using caution and not providing financial
information directly to the seller, as fraudulent sellers will use this information
to purchase items for their schemes. Always use a legitimate payment service to
ensure a safe, legitimate purchase.

As for product delivery, fraudsters posing as legitimate delivery services offer
reduced or free shipping to customers through auction sites. They perpetuate this
scam by providing fake shipping labels to the victim. The fraudsters do not pay
for delivery of the packages; therefore, delivery service providers intercept the
packages for nonpayment and the victim loses the money paid for the purchase of
the product.

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, with a low total number of feedback postings, or with all feedback posted
around the same date and time.

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