Tips on How to Avoid Classified Advertisement Website Scams
Users of classified advertisement websites must be aware that several people try to misuse these sites and commit frauds. Buyers are not the only target of scams. Sellers can also fall prey to these people. Find some tips below to help you avoid frauds:
If You Are a Buyer:
Some people post fake ads on classified advertisement websites and pose as real sellers. Their aim is to mint money from buyers. In most cases, these “sellers” will send you a fake email receipt after you place an order. Once you make the payment, they disappear. Emails go unanswered and phone numbers appear to be turned off. And it goes without saying that you never receive the items you ordered.
People can post fake ads for any category ranging from cars, laptops, phones, pets, property and more. In case of property, these scammers usually provide a fake copy of an original property ad. Once you contact them, they will make an excuse as to why you can’t see the place. This is clearly a warning sign and you should never pursue a seller who doesn’t let you inspect the property you intend to buy or rent.
However, if you do make the payment, these people simply disappear and you never receive the keys to the property.
Here are some warnings signs all buyers should keep in mind when purchasing from classified advertisement websites:
- Ads that feature very low prices from the market (this is a tactic to lure people)
- Offers that appear too irresistible
- When a seller wants you to choose an different payment method from the website’s own payment system
- When a seller wants you to pay through Western Union. This method should only be used if you know the seller very well and trust them completely.
If You Are a Seller:
Sellers can also fall victim to scams. People can pose as genuine buyers for a variety of reasons. They might show an interest in buying your item but ask your help to pay for shipping or insurance. In such cases, they will promise to reimburse you later. However, once you make the payment, they disappear and there is no way for you to recover your money.
In some cases, scammers may ask you to meet them in person and exchange cash for the item. However, instead of paying with cash as agreed, they will give you a check and make an excuse as to why they couldn’t pay with cash. In these cases, the check is probably fake.
If you’re a seller, keep the following warning signs in mind in order to avoid scams:
- The potential buyer wants to purchase your product without viewing it or inspecting it – even with expensive items such as cars and property.
- The potential buyer lives overseas, but is still willing to purchase your product. In most cases, shipping costs are too high and outweigh product costs.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you need to protect yourself from classified advertisement website scams. Keep the above points in mind when dealing with classified ads and make sure to verify each step before making the final payment.