How to safely shop on eBay!

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With today’s internet technology, you can pretty much buy anything with the click of a mouse.. literally. Companies like eBay and amazon give sellers the ability to profit off their goods, while at the same time helping others seek whey desire. Unfortunately eBay buyers and others do not fall short of becoming the victim of countless scams and fraudulent products.

We’ve come up with a list of procedures you should check before purchasing from sellers online. We hope these will be sufficient enough to make your chances of a scam, less.

CHECK THE SELLER’S COMMENTS AND POSITIVE FEEDBACK

When you’re interested in purchasing an item, make sure you check the feedback before pressing submit & pay. A lot of sellers have a positive or negative feedback on their profile. If you need more negative than positive, it might not be a good idea to proceed.

USE CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING FROM A NEW SELLER ACCOUNT

Many scammers will create brand new seller accounts, in an effort to avoid being detected. If the account is new, there is no feedback, use caution. You might want to see if there’s a better deal from another seller.

AVOID SELLERS WHO WANT TO RECEIVE PAYMENTS IN OTHER WAYS

eBay and others have strict policies on how payments can be sent to the seller. eBay mostly prefers you use their website or PayPal to send transactions. Avoid sellers who want you to take payments off eBay’s website and request money orders or gift cards.

READ THE ITEM’S DESCRIPTION BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH PURCHASE

As much as we hate to say it, many buyers have failed to read the description of items before purchasing. Scammers will add in small bits of text, saying something to the effect of “This is a PlayStation One picture”, while the buyer misses that part, believing it is an actual PlayStation One console.

ONLY PURCHASE FROM REPUTABLE WEBSITES

Avoid buying from websites that are completely unknown to you. If you search for an item and stumble across http://www.johndoesstuff.com, you might want to avoid it, especially if it cannot be proven to be reputable.

With these mentioned, we hope it’ll better protect you and your friends, in avoiding online scams!

 

Sextortion and how to prevent it

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Cyber Crime Response Agency receives many calls per week from individuals reporting that an online sexual encounter took place, with the opposite sex on camera. These situations typically result in the other party threatening to post private images of the victim online, unless that victim pays an amount of money.

A lot of the reportees we receive are worried that they’ve committed a type of crime. This could be further from the truth. As long as both parties involved understand that both are legal adults, anyone can have any type of encounter with another.

So how exactly do these suspects find their victims? Many of them search Facebook for random Facebook accounts, while others post in personals online. On Facebook, it typically starts off with a random friend request from the opposite sex. Once the account owner accepts the friend request, the suspect will then attempt to entice and encourage the account owner to come on camera, to engage in sexual activities. The threat can occur at any time, from the middle to the end of the encounter. Threats typically consist of statements that videos or pictures have been saved and will be posted or sent to family, if an amount of money isn’t sent.

Humiliating, right? So how can you avoid these types of situations? Simple! Don’t have them. Although crimes aren’t being committed by having the encounter, you have to take into consideration, the possibilities of threats. Should you fall for these types of crimes, do not make payment to anyone, for any reason, no matter how severe the threat is. In our experience, 95% of suspects to threaten, do not actually follow through with their threats. Why? Because they have nothing to gain from it.

You can make reports of these situations to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Beware of Tech Support Scams

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You might be aware of technical support scams already having taken place around the nation. Our nation is not the only one vulnerable to these types of crimes. Unfortunately, these matters don’t seem to be going away any time soon.

It’s over before you know it. You receive a call from an unknown telephone number, stating the caller is from Microsoft or Apple or any other major technology company, stating your computer is infected and access is needed by the individual to fix your computer. This type of scam occurs more often than we’d like; in fact, almost daily.

So how do you know the technical support caller is authentic? Simple answer: they aren’t. How so? We’ve spoken with the major companies such as Microsoft and Apple, who both told us they’d never contact anyone unsolicited, alerting of intrusions to computers. Why is that? Because the technology to monitor every single computer by these companies is not real. Not only that, but these companies have so many assignments, they wouldn’t have time to go “snooping” through every single computer without the owner’s consent. Not only that, but it would be highly illegal and an invasion of privacy.

What is the best way to deal with these types of calls? Do not budge and do not allow entry to your computer. Simply reporting the telephone number, caller’s name (if given) and the caller’s intentions to the Federal Trade Commission is the best solution as of now. Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has stated that these technical support scam callers will continue to call once they’ve made contact with you. Simply block the number on your device and hope they aren’t smart enough to find another number of yours.

Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP

Tips to Avoid Telemarketing Fraud


It’s almost impossible to get your money back if you fallen for a telemarketing scam. Before buying anything, remember:

  • Don’t buy from unfamiliar companies. True companies understand you want more information about them before making a purchase.
  • Always request and wait for written information about offers. If you receive information about investments, ask an expert, but beware-not everything written is real.
  • Always research unknown businesses with your local Better Business Bureau. Not all bad businesses can be identified however through groups such as the BBB.
  • Take note of the sales persons information, such as name, business name, phone number, address and business license number. Take time to verify this information before starting a business transaction.
  • Before you send money to a charity, find out how much of it goes towards commissions and what percentage actually goes to the investment.
  • Do not pay in advance for services; only pay after the services are delivered.
  • Do not trust companies who wish to send a messenger to your address to collect money. This is just a way for the scammers to collect revenue from you without leaving a trace.
  • Always take time and making a decision. If the business rushes you, chances are they have something to hide that you might not be fully aware of.
  • Don’t send money for a “free prize”. If the caller says the payment is for taxes, they are violating federal law.
  • Never send money or give personal banking information. This includes banking account and routing numbers. Also, avoid giving out Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
  • Know that the information you share with a telemarketer is shared with other telemarketing companies. You should expect to receive increased contact regarding offers.
  • If you have information about fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law-enforcement.