How to Not Get Scammed When Selling Things Online

Alicia Adamczyk 04/14/2018. 6 comments
Scamming Venmo Spring Cleaning Week Money Personal Finance

If you’ve been bitten by the Spring Cleaning bug and are looking to cull some of your unwanted books , say, or other possessions, you’ll want to be careful of how (and to whom) you’re selling your old stuff.

We take spring cleaning very seriously at Lifehacker. Far be it from us to let an opportunity to refresh, reorganize, and declutter our homes lives pass us by. We’re also pretty psyched to hit the reset button on our tech usage, take a close look at our finances, and give the heave-ho to the day-to-day habits that have gotten a little musty. Welcome to Spring Cleaning Week, wherein we clear the cobwebs of winter and set the stage for sunny days ahead. Let’s clean things up, shall we?

While electronic payment methods like PayPal, Venmo or Zelle make it easy to send and receive money, they also make it easy for scammers to, well, scam. Make sure you receive the cash in your account before you hand over the goods.

“When using P2P payment services to sell goods to people you don’t know, you take the risk of the money not clearing,” says Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “If you find the money you receive hasn’t cleared and is not in your account, there is little you can do and you might never see that money again.”

This is something to be aware of with Venmo and Zelle in particular. Basically what happens is as soon as the buyer transfers the money, they can reverse the charge (in fact, PayPal Inc., which owns Venmo, just settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission related to this). In other cases, “ buyers used stolen credit cards or hacked accounts—which the paymets company then reversed,” according to USA Today. And there’s no recourse for you, the seller.

Another version of the scam: The buyer will say that they sent you a PayPal transfer. You’ll see an email confirmation, only to find out later that no money was actually sent. An added twist to this one involves overpaying, according to the Better Business Bureau. The buyer may “overpay” and ask you to wire them back the difference. Not only did they get the T.V. you’re trying to sell, they got some money, too.

So just don’t use those apps for these types of exchanges. In fact, “using a personal Venmo account for business or commercial peer-to-peer payments is prohibited in Venmo’s terms of service unless the user receives specific authorization,” MarketWatch reports.

But it’s not just reserved for P2P services. “Similarly, if you are receiving a check from a buyer, wait to ensure it clears and the cash is in your account before sending the item,” says Palmer. So cash is still the best way to go.

Here are some other tips, from the BBB:

  • Don’t accept checks or money orders: When selling to someone you don’t know, it is safer to accept cash or credit card payments.
  • Do not accept overpayments: When selling on Craigslist, eBay or similar sites, don’t take payments for more than the sales price, no matter what convincing story the buyer tells you.
  • Always confirm the buyer has paid before handing over the item. Don’t take the buyer’s word for it.
  • Be wary of individuals claiming to be overseas. In many different types of scams, con artists claim to be living abroad to avoid in-person contact. Consider this a red flag.

And when you do meet up for the transfer of goods, always do so in a public place. A local police department may have a “safe lot” program where you can arrange to meet. Unless they are picking up a piece of furniture or something from you, never give out your address or other personal information. Above everything else, you want to be safe.

HighResolutionMusic.com - Download Hi-Res Songs

1 5 Seconds Of Summer

Who Do You Love flac

5 Seconds Of Summer. 2019. Writer: Andrew Taggart;Talay Riley;Oak;Sean Douglas;Luke Hemmings;Calum Hood;Ashton Irwin;Michael Clifford;Trevorious;Zaire Koalo.
2 Brooks

Better When You're Gone flac

Brooks. 2019. Writer: David Guetta;Emma Lov Block;Ido Zmishlany;Jackson Foote;Jeremy Dussolliet;Brooks.
3 Katy Perry

365 flac

Katy Perry. 2019. Writer: Zedd;Katy Perry;Caroline Ailin;Corey Sanders;Daniel Davidsen;Cutfather;Peter Wallevik.
4 Ariana Grande

7 Rings flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Ariana Grande;Richard Rodgers;TBHits;Njomza;Michael "Mikey" Foster;Kaydence;Tayla Parx;Scootie;Oscar Hammerstein II;Victoria Monét.
5 Alec Benjamin

Let Me Down Slowly flac

Alec Benjamin. 2019. Writer: Alec Benjamin;Sir Nolan;Michael Pollack.
6 Ariana Grande

Needy flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Tayla Parx;TBHits;Victoria Monét;Ariana Grande.
7 Avril Lavigne

Dumb Blonde flac

Avril Lavigne. 2019. Writer: Mitch Allan;Bonnie McKee;Nicki Minaj;Avril Lavigne.
8 Lauv

I'm So Tired flac

Lauv. 2019. Writer: Lauv;Michael Pollack;Troye Sivan;Leland;OZGO.
9 Ariana Grande

Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: Kandi;Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs;Max Martin;ILYA;Savan Kotecha;Ariana Grande.
10 Afrojack

Ferrari flac

Afrojack. 2019.
11 Normani

Dancing With A Stranger flac

Normani. 2019. Writer: Mikkel S. Eriksen;Tor Hermansen;Jimmy Napes;Normani;Sam Smith.
12 Halsey

11 Minutes flac

Halsey. 2019. Writer: Matt Schwartz;Halsey;Dominic Harrison;Brynley Plumb.
13 Icona Pop

This Is How We Party flac

Icona Pop. 2019. Writer: R3hab;Icona Pop.
14 Ariana Grande

Imagine flac

Ariana Grande. 2019. Writer: JProof;Priscilla Renea;Happy Perez;Andrew "Pop" Wansel;Ariana Grande.
15 Julian Jordan

Need You flac

Julian Jordan. 2019.
16 Fall Out Boy

I've Been Waiting flac

Fall Out Boy. 2019. Writer: Andy Hurley;Patrick Stump;Pete Wentz;Joe Trohman;Lil Peep;​iLoveMakonnen.
17 DEAMN

Happy flac

DEAMN. 2019.
18 Jida

Low flac

Jida. 2019.
19 Quintino

Can't Bring Me Down flac

Quintino. 2019.
20 Apster

No Style flac

Apster. 2019.

6 Comments

tulleytwo
JasonG
JayFra

Suggested posts

Other Alicia Adamczyk's posts

Language