Over at the Identity Theft Resource Center, we have had more than our share of requests for information on how to stay safe while shopping online this holiday season. However, earlier today I began to think about the other side of the coin. What about the people who are selling online this holiday season? With a rise in online shopping this holiday season, there will undoubtedly be a rise in online selling.
Surely sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy are getting slammed with orders as we move closer to actual gift-giving time. So, where are all of the tips for online sellers to stay safe? That is where we come to the rescue. We want everyone out there, whether they are buying or selling, to have a wonderful holiday season so here are five tips for online sellers to stay safe while selling their goods online.
- Avoid alternative payment methods: Wire transfers, more specifically Western Union, are often used in scams. Other forms of payment that may signal a red flag for fraud are cashier's checks, money grams and personal checks. These can be made fraudulently and liability will be transferred to the person taking the payment if the false funds are deposited in their bank account.
- Never give out banking information: If a situation arises in which a buyer offers to directly deposit money into your bank account, do not go through with the transaction. With the information an individual would need to transfer money into your bank account, they could also transfer money out of your bank account.
- Do not ship items until payment is received: This may seem obvious, but in certain situations it may present itself as a legitimate necessity. However, sellers should never send out product before payment is received and cleared. No matter how trustworthy a buyer seems, you must remember this is the Internet and people can seem to be anything they want.
- Remember who is responsible: When selling items on Craigslist, or other such sites, remember that they are not held responsible for any fraud which occurs on their site. This means that if you get scammed by a buyer while selling on their site, there is nothing they can do for you. Also note that anyone who states that the site will guarantee payments is misinformed or this could be a scam.
The holiday season is a great time for online sellers to do an immense amount of business. However, anywhere there is an opportunity for fraud, you can be sure someone will be attempting to commit it. Keeping these tips in mind can help you avoid fraud and scams. That way you can concentrate on friends and family, not fraud and scams, this holiday season.
"Staying Safe While Selling Online" was written by Nikki Junker. Nikki is the Social Media Manager at the Identity Theft Resource Center. We welcome you to post/reprint the above article, as written, giving credit to and linking back to the original article.