Safe Trading

Support / Quick Answers / December 8, 2017

Whether we like it or not there are dodgy people out there who will happily take advantage of us if given half a chance.

Here are a few simple tips that could help avoid losing your shirt:

  • Trade with fully address verified users
  • Video call to verify buyer/seller and/or product
  • Use a credible escrow service
  • Don’t send payment via Western Union, MoneyGram, or Wire Service
  • Exchange items in a public place
  • Don’t send personal details – reduce the chance of identity theft

We have added a few pieces from other websites that may be useful.

Personal Safety

When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:

  • Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.
  • Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
  • Be especially careful buying/selling high value items.
  • Tell a friend or family member where you're going.
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one.
  • Consider having a friend accompany you.
  • Trust your instincts.

(Source - Stolen from Craigslist)

Act with Caution

  • Be wary of taking action before you can be sure that the payment you received is good.
  • Be suspicious if someone insists that you send funds by wire transfer or otherwise pressures you to act quickly before you know the payment you received is good.
  • If you receive a letter offering you a large sum of money for little effort other than sending a "processing" fee, remember: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

(Read more at Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks)

Tips for Avoiding Cashier’s Check Fraud

  • Try to know the people with whom you do business. When possible, verify information about the buyer from an independent third party such as a telephone directory. Be cautious about accepting checks—even a cashier’s check—from people that you do not know, especially since it may be difficult to pursue a remedy if the transaction goes wrong.
  • When you use the Internet to sell goods or services, consider other options such as escrow services or online payment systems rather than payment by a cashier’s check.
  • If you do accept a cashier’s check for payment, never accept a check for more than your selling price if you are expected to pay the excess to someone else. Ask yourself why the buyer would be willing to trust you, who may be a perfect stranger, with funds that properly belong to a third party.
  • A cashier’s check is less risky than other types of checks only if the item is genuine. If you can, ask for a cashier’s check drawn on a bank with a branch in your area.
  • If you want to find out whether a check is genuine, call or visit the bank on which the check is written. That bank will be in a better position to tell you whether the check is one they issued and is genuine.
  • Know the difference between funds being available for withdrawal from your account and a check having finally cleared. Your bank may be required by law to make funds available to you even if the check has not yet cleared. However, it could take several weeks to know if the check will clear or not.

Buying Online

If you are buying something online and the seller says you must use a money transfer to pay, it’s a sign you won’t get the item or a refund. Tell the seller you want to use a credit card, an escrow service or another way to pay. If the seller won’t accept, find another seller.

Money transfers may be useful when you want to send funds to someone you know and trust — but they're never a good idea when you're dealing with a stranger.

(Read more at The Federal Trade Commission (FTC))

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