Online Fraud Alert

Fraud Via Internet Sales

If selling an item via the Internet, beware of buyers who wish to send you a cashiers check in excess of the purchased price. The buyer will state a third party owes him money and that the third party will then send you the check for the amount owed. The buyer then requests you deduct your selling price and send the balance to the buyer or someone else. The check you receive will be no good.

Online Auction Fraud

Identify the seller and check the seller's feedback rating. If you are dealing on eBay, utilize eBay's ID verification program which offers extra assurance that the person you're doing business with is who they say they are. Do not do business with a seller outside of eBay. You will lose all protection at that point.

The classic scam, offers high end goods for sale or auction at lower prices. They will take your order, confirm the "shipment" and then vanish the moment payment is wired.

Third-Party Payment Systems

A third party payment system such as PayPal, Billpoint, or Citibank allows you to fund an online account and make payments from that account without exposing your credit card or bank account information. When buying from a seller who can accept credit cards directly, you may want to use the new single-use credit card which expires after each purchase.

Learn how to prevent Internet auction fraud.


Con artists want to catch your personal information online by sending an official looking email that tells you to update or validate your billing information. You're asked to go to a website, which looks like the company's real website, and to give your social security or credit card numbers, passwords, or bank account information.

If you provide this information, the scammers will use it for their own gain. Never follow the link provided in one of these emails. Instead, contact the company using a telephone number or website address that you know is real.

Check your credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized activity. Regardless, notify your financial institution(s) that you may have been a victim of this scam. Contact the Federal Trade Commission at the FTC website for more information