Before we start to examine some of the most common eBay scams that you should be on the lookout for, it is important to mention why those scams exist. eBay is considered an online market place or an online auction website. Just about anyone with an internet connection and an eBay account can start eBay sale auctions. This is what makes it possible for scammers to trap innocent shoppers like you. While eBay does work to combat these scams and eliminate the individuals behind them, there are some people who slip through the cracks. That is why you will always want to be on the lookout for eBay scams.
Speaking of common scams to be on the lookout for, one of the most common scams involves selling a product that the seller actually doesn’t have. This type of scam is sometimes difficult to spot, but there are signs that you should look for. When posting an eBay auction, an eBay seller should have pictures of the item or items that they are selling or at least accurate descriptions. With some items, such as books, CDs, or movies, eBay sellers are given the option of using a stock photo; one that is provided by eBay. All other items should have a genuine photo, taken by the seller. If not, you may want to refrain from making the purchase, as it may mean that the seller isn’t even in possession of the item or items that they are trying to sell you.
In addition to selling items that they don’t even have available, another common eBay scam involves lying about the items that they do have. For instance, there are some eBay sellers, although a small number of them, who claim that they have an item, like a car radio, which is in brand new condition, but it isn’t always. It is not uncommon for some eBay seller to outright lie or strength the truth a little bit. Unless you have a watchful eye, you may not find out until it is too late. That is why it is advised that you not only purchase items from eBay that are accompanied by pictures, but that you also examine those pictures. You will want to try and see if something really does look new or if it is in “like new,” condition.
Another common eBay scam that you will want to look for involves those who want your personal information. This type of scam is implemented in two different ways. First, there are a small number of sellers who tell you that they need your credit card information, but they shouldn’t. Whether you pay by PayPal, personal check, or money order, you shouldn’t give out any personal information to any eBay sellers, even if you are buying an item from them. If you are not using PayPal, just send a check or money order to the address given to you, nothing else needs to be done.
The second eBay scam that involves trying to get your personal information is phishing. Phishing scams are increasing in popularity, making it easier to fall victim to one. With phishing scams, a scammer sends out an email that looks like it is from eBay. The email is often accompanied with a message stating that something is wrong with your account and that you need to click on the attached link, sign in and fix it. This is a scam. What they are trying to do is get your eBay account information. Once that has been done, they may have access to stored personal account numbers, as well as the ability to use your eBay account to make fraudulent purchases.
The above mentioned eBay scams are just a few of the most common ones that you may run across. Although there are those on eBay who are trying to scam or take advantage of you, the chances of falling victim to a scam on eBay are actually quite low, as long as you proceed with caution.