Protect Yourself From Scammers

It seems these days scammers are everywhere on the internet now.  We’ve all see the email scams from other countries where they say you’ve won the lottery, or received an inheritance and they need your bank account number to transfer the funds.  There are so many other scams as well.   Now, these people have also moved on to websites like craigslist, ebay and other selling websites and setup new scams.  They find websites where people sell things and are eager to complete the sale, and then they use that to their advantage to scam you.

Please read the information below to help protect yourself from scammers.   I hope that this will help you in some way, and I will post as much as I can here to help out – but in the end you will have to make that decision yourself after chatting with the buyer whether it is a scam or not.


Recent Scams

Recently there has been a scam by someone wanting to purchase a dress, but to send more money than the price of the dress, in hopes of getting that extra cash either for themselves, or for a “shipper” who would pick up the dress.   Any time you hear the phrase “pay more” or “extra cash amount” that is your clue that it is probably a scammer who is not really interested in your item, but in your money.  How it works is the person essentially sends you payment, by check or cashiers check and asks you to give them the extra amount of cash that they write the check over for.  After you have given that extra money to them, you will find that their check has bounced, or been a forgery or something similar.  And now you are out the money.  It takes two weeks for checks to totally clear the bank, even though your bank will show it as cleared before then — and that is the problem.  If you call your bank, they will confirm this.

One way to protect yourself is to make yourself aware of the scams that happen through email and the internet.  There are several good websites you can read to help understand and be aware.  The more you know, the less likely you will be scammed.  Some good sites are:

Wikipedia Page on Internet Fraud

Snopes – Daily Scams


Ways To Be Aware

  • Be aware of strangely worded emails that might be from a spammer from a foreign country where they might not speak your language natively or well at all.
  • Be aware of any email where the person wants to pay more for your item and get cash back from you — or anything similar to this.   There is absolutely NO reason for you to hand over money to them in any instance – or even to a shipping company (which is usually fake)!
  • Beware of giving out your bank account number to buyers.  Many banks will give you a temporary account number to use for deposits only.  Check with your bank!
  • Converse with the potential buyer and ask questions like what Irish dance school they attend and who their teacher is. Then take a few moments to google the information and make sure the school exists. If you are still worried, you could email the teacher and confirm that the person is indeed a student with them. 
  • Your best bet is to converse a lot with the buyer and really determine who they are!

Hopefully this might help in some way as you sell items on the internet!