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What kinds of buyer/seller behavior is considered suspicious?

Help Topics & F.A.Q.    Safety and Security

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If you feel you are interacting with a seller or buyer that the Sell.com security team should investigate, please let us know. In our experience over the past several years, we've noticed a variety of indicators that may point to fraudulent activity.

In some cases, suspicious sellers may:
  • request that you send your payment overseas
  • only accept Western Union or another money transfer service (e-Gold)
  • recommend an unfamiliar escrow or payment service
  • try to convince you not to use payment services which offer protection (ex. Escrow.com, PayPal)
  • list an address that is different from their member rating page
  • refuse to give you a working shipment tracking number
  • continously provide excuses about why you haven't received an item
  • use images taken from other websites, or photos that are not of the item in their ad
  • use poor English in their communications
  • sell suspect copies of software, music, or videos
  • sell an expensive popular item at a very low pricepoint
  • not be upfront about the authenticity of items for sale
  • try to immediately convince you to communicate outside of Sell.com (email, phone, IM).

In some cases, suspicious buyers may:
  • ask you to ship to an address different from their member rating page
  • place large orders to be sent to a foreign location
  • say they will pay you half of what's due before they receive the item, and half payment afterwards
  • pay with an international credit card or cashier's check
  • recommend an unfamiliar escrow or payment service
  • use poor English in their communications
  • try to immediately convince you to communicate outside of Sell.com (email, phone, IM).
  • insist on COD. It is important to note that many carriers (notably FedEx), will do very little to confirm the identity of the buyer, or validity of a payment instrument. This has allowed some fraudulent buyers to use fake cashier's check on CODs.

At some point after a deal has been reached, every buyer and seller will exchange contact information. That's normal. Our recommendation is merely to use our forum to exchange those details.

Also See:
Should I send a seller my phone number or email address?

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