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Scam Alert

Online auction scams
There are so many scams at online auctions. First is the escrow scam: the seller requests that you use a certain escrow company to pay for your item. But the escrow service is a fake in cahoots with the seller -- you're out all your money.

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Second is the phantom seller with the great (fake) bid history. When you try to check up on this seller's history you will see nothing but praise -- too bad all the praise has been posted by the seller and his friends. Again, you're out all your money.

This next one is for sellers: the fake cashier's check. This scam bears a strong resemblance to the Nigerian letter scam. Here's how it happens: You get an order from someone who wants to pay by cashier's check -- they are usually outside of the United States. You deposit the check. The bank tells you the check has cleared and you send the items. Several days later, you'll find out the check really didn't clear (oops!) and the bank holds you responsible for the balance. In another twist, you'll get a cashier's check for more than the amount you requested. The buyer will ask you to refund the difference. You do -- then the cashier's check bounces and the bank holds you responsible for the balance.

Read about more scams.

 
-- Posted: Oct. 10, 2003
   

 

 
 
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