Online auction scams are amongst the most common types of online fraud, and unmindful buyers are the most affected. There are buyers who received damaged products, or worse, no product at all. Other buyers experienced having their bank accounts or credit cards compromised. Surely, bidding is fun, and it’s always exciting to grab great deals. However, online security dangers are inevitable. That’s why it’s important for you to take the time to know how to safely do online auctions.
Understand The Common Risks On Auction Sites
It always pays to know the tendencies of this space. There are certain risks that auction sites tag along. For instance, you may end up buying items you will never receive or delivering an item you’re selling without receiving any payment. You may also come across cybercriminals who use your account to make loads of purchases under your name by stealing your personal data. To avoid this, you should never overshare sensitive information to anyone online. Buyers could also experience buying items at inflated prices or getting items that are counterfeit—not the original item you bought. Some also experience receiving streams of scam emails that intend to ask for sensitive information and steal your identity and your hard-earned cash.
Once you understand the risks, you can better know how to dodge them and how to deal with these unwanted activities.
Select Your Sites
Before sticking to a site, read their Terms and Conditions to leave no stone unturned. Keep the following in mind:
- Payment method
It’s ideal to go for websites that accept safer payment gateways like PayPal or Bitcoin. There’s a chance that if you use check, wire transfer, money order, credit or debit card, and the like, you’d end up putting your account at risk.
- Use a conservative profile
It’s best to use a screen name that’s anonymous. Do not share unnecessary details.
- Create strong password
Choose a password with at least 10 characters. Use both capital and small letters and include symbols and numbers. Don’t integrate information into your password that’s easily associated with you—such as your name, birthdate, age, and so on. Also, do not use the same password that you’ve used in many other sites.
Do Your Research
For buyers and sellers, this is the next crucial step. Know the specifics of the item you intend to buy or sell.
A good auction site will display the credibility of the prospective buyers and sellers. Work only with the individuals or companies with a solid reputation.
Don’t forget to research the item you intend to buy or sell. Know the rates, the item’s status (used or brand new), the authenticity of the item, and so on. Read the fine print of the product description before proceeding to checkout. For buyers, you may want to print the whole description and fine print off for easy reference should issues arise. For sellers, this piece of information is a great way to compare your product against other sellers’.
Auction sites have brought about a great deal of perks, but in the online arena, dangers are always around the corner. Thus, it’s best to be equipped with the right knowhow before plunging into any deal.