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5-Tips-to-Know-to-Avoid-Online-Auction-Frauds on Public Auction Finder
By: Laurence Smith
Contributor and editor
December 13, 2018

5 Tips to Know to Avoid Online Auction Frauds

5 Tips to Know to Avoid Online Auction Frauds

Either you love collecting old stamps or vintage cars or you are fascinated by all things unique and novel, the Internet may be your default platform to find exotic trinkets. eBay, Webstore, or Public Auction Finder are typically your go-to online auction sites. But what if you find a unique collectible you've been searching for on an unfamiliar site by an unknown seller? Would you still go through the process of completing your transaction, risking auction frauds? Or will you find the same item on a more reliable platform? If you're still caught in a dilemma, we have created a list of useful tips for avoiding fraudulent online auctions. The decision is always yours. But as your trusted online auction platform, it is our responsibility to help you find reliable sellers and authentic products.

1. Make sure you know everything you need to know. Some online auction sites have hidden fees or don’t offer protection against online auction fraud and scams or lack internet security. Before purchasing anything from a new auction platform, make sure you read their User Agreement and Privacy Policy carefully. Also, read reviews from other users. This may serve you well and protect you from unnecessary stress and auction frauds.

2. Get to know the return policy. If you see a cool TV, gadget, or collectible that you like, don't bid yet. Check the sellers return or refund policy. You don’t want to end up with a broken product or inauthentic item with no guarantee of getting your money back.

3. Find out how the seller handles the payment method. The most popular way to pay for items bought at online auctions is through reliable third-party payment services like PayPal. This process enables you to make secure payments without revealing your credit card information to sellers and avoid auction frauds, as well. When using PayPal or other third-party payment services, keep in mind:

a. It's safer and more secure if you use a private WIFI network than public ones like coffee shops or airports. These networks are open to potential hackers who might breach your internet security;

b. Be cautious of email phishing scams. Don't fall for these. Cybercrooks often send phony emails on behalf of popular payment services like PayPal. They usually bait buyers by saying there’s a problem with your account and demand your personal information like your social security, credit card, or driver’s license.

4. Double check a seller's location. Find out the sellers' address, and where they are asking you to send the money to. If the addresses are from two different cities of countries, take this as a sign the auction is a scam. The item may not exist or the seller may send you an inauthentic product.

5. Avoid cheaters’ trap. You lost a product to a luckier bidder, but a seller contacts you to offer the same product on a different site. Be careful! The site might be less secure, possibly designed to phish for your credit card details or other personal information and perform auction frauds. 

On the one hand, there are several ways a buyer can be tricked by sellers on online auctions. You may run into a malicious online auction platform with sellers auctioning off unsolicited items for a quick buck. On the other hand, bidding is a fun, exciting way to find amazing deals for your favorite collectibles. Using the tips mentioned above will help you find the right product or collectible hassle-free.

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