Let's face it, when we take to online shopping, we are all drawn in by the low price listings on sites like eBay and Craigslist. If you’re a seller, it can be guaranteed business, and for buyers, a guaranteed deal.
But the Better Business Bureau is warning people about an online scam that keeps popping up on sales sites, allowing “buyers” to get an item without actually paying for it.
The BBB says a scammer will reach out asking to buy your item immediately and arrange a time to meet you. When they arrive, the scammer does not have any cash, but claims they paid through PayPal.
The scammer sends a fake e-mail, confirming the payment. When the money does not show up in your account, the scammer claims it is an "invisible" transfer that does not show up right away.
Be aware that PayPal does not offer invisible transfer options, the scammer is just trying to get away without paying for the item.
Some versions of the scam have an over payment twist, where the scammer "accidentally" pays more than what the seller is asking for.
The scammer will then try to trick the seller into wiring back money, even though they never paid in the first place.
To avoid this, the BBB is warning people to only accept payments in the form of cash or credit cards, not checks or money orders.
Before handing over an item, always confirm that the buyer has paid for it and the transaction has gone through to your account.
Never accept over payments, no matter how convincing the buyer's story might be.
The BBB reminds those making an exchange to always meet in a public place, like a police station parking lot or lobby, to ensure the safety of both parties.