Buying or Selling

Cyber criminals victimize businesses and consumers that are buying or selling products and services online. You need to be very careful and cautious as not all being offered online is legitimate. Here are some types of buying or selling scam that you should be wary of.

Learn More about Buying or Selling Scams

Classified Scams

This type of buying or selling scam targets sellers or buyers. They are trying to deceit, trick, cheat and mislead their target thinking that they are transacting with a legit contact but in reality they are not. They work differently for the buyers and sellers.

  • For Buyers

Internet crooks will act as real sellers and post fraud and fake ads in print classified ads, on classified websites and they might also contact you through social media or email. The ads may vary some may deal with rental properties, used cars, bikes, horses, boats, pets and caravans. Some may copy or imitate real seller’s ad images and other information. To attract, lure, entice and encourage consumers fast, the cyber criminals offer the item at a low price, most of the time lower than as compared to other items promoted on the same site.

If they notice that you are interested in the item, they will inform you that they will be travelling in the next few days or moved to another place. Likewise, they will tell you that the agent will deliver the items after you made the payment. Once you send the payment you will receive a fake email receipt confirming that they have received your payment, but you will not receive the items and you will not be able to contact the seller.

  • For Sellers

Be cautious when selling your items online, there are lots of pretenders acting as genuine buyers. They would make up persuading stories like they need help to pay a third party or pay an agent for upfront payment like insurance or transportation. The crooks will promise you that they will return the money.

Also, the scammer may forward a cheque higher than that of the agreed price. He will make excuses for the overpayment, like to include the fees of an agent or additional shipping costs, or it was just human error. The fake buyer will ask you to send him the excess payment – it may take days before you can discover that the cheque issued to you is fake. You will lose not just the excess payment they made but also the item you are selling if you already sent the item.

Overpayment Scams

As the name implies, an overpayment scams work by asking you to refund or return the excess payment the online criminals made when he sent you the cheque as payment for the item you are selling. This is how the scam works:

  • If you sell something online or via classified ads, you are the target of these scammers.
  • The cyber crooks will contact you through email, phone or social media. Then he will make an offer and most of the time it is something that you cannot resist. Once you agree a cheque payment will be sent to you. He will intentionally make a cheque with an amount greater than what both of you agreed upon.
  • Before the due date and before your bank could clear the cheque he will contact you again asking for apology for the wrong amount and provide you fake excuses. He may tell you things like the excess payment were supposed to be for shipping costs or for agent’s fee or he will just tell you that he made a mistake writing the cheque.
  • The scammer will request for a refund most of the time through online bank transfer, wire transfer like Western Union or pre-loaded money card before you discover that the cheque has bounced.
  • Once you send the money, there is no way you can get it back. Also, if you already send the item you will lose it as well.

Remote Access Scams

This scam will try to convince, encourage, persuade or make you believe that your computer or your internet connection has problems and the only solution is to purchase software in order to fix it. Here’s how the scam works:

  • The cyber crooks will call you and he will introduce himself as a staff member from a big telecommunication or computer company, like Microsoft, Telstra or the NBN.
  • Sometimes, they will introduce themselves as someone from a technical support service provider.
  • They will inform you that they are receiving error messages from your computer or that your PC has virus. They will tell you problems about your phone line or internet connection and inform you that it has been affected your PC’s performance. The scammers may also claim that someone hacked your broadband connection.
  • The scammer will ask for remote access to your PC to diagnose what the problem is.
  • He will convince you to purchase the software or a service so he can fix your PC or he would ask you for your bank or credit card details.
  • Be wary for the scammer you will be transacting with will sound professional and expert on it that he will be persistent and has a tendency to become abusive if you will not provide what he will ask from you.

Health & Medical Products

This scam offers you healthcare products at a reasonable price that when you order you will never receive the item, or they will promise lots of things like medicines, treatments and cure all products that are all lies. Some of the common examples of health and medical products scam are as follows:

  • Fake Online Pharmacies – medicines that do not require prescription and other healthcare products are being offered by scammers at a reasonable price via website or an email.
  • Miracle cures – the scammers offer different cure-all products that promises cure to all types of illnesses. The offers can be made in a legitimate site to make the consumers believe that they are transacting with legit company.

False Billing Scams

You or your business will receive request asking you to pay fake invoices for advertising, office supplies, directory listings, or domain name renewals that you did not order at all. Do not fall on this prey. If you did not order anything at all then you don’t have to pay them.

An invoice, invitation or letter is sent to your business informing you or inviting you to be listed in a bogus or fake trade directory or you need to renew your website domain name. The Cyber criminals may also call you by surprise to confirm your ad booking or insist that you have ordered services or goods. These scammers will take advantage of the fact that the person they are dealing with does not have any idea about this and will be caught by surprise and might fall in their prey.

Online Shopping Scams

This scam involves cyber criminals acting to be legitimate online sellers, using fake website, or fake ad on a legitimate retailer site. There are lots of fraud sellers and the number continues to rise. Most of them post their offers on a legitimate site that you will have a hard time determining which is legit and which is not. If you are uncertain or not sure about the seller then stay away from it.

Psychic and Clairvoyant Scams

The scammers will offer help in exchange for a fee. The psychic and clairvoyant scam is designed to trick you so you will send them your money. Just like other scams they are only after your money so be very cautious when dealing online.

Mobile Premium Services Scams

This scam is designed to trick you by paying high text or call rates when replying to unsolicited text message like answering trivia scams or SMS competitions on your smart phone or mobile.

You can protect yourself from these scams if you are updated. Learn the old and new scams through our blog and you will be safe from these scammers. Cyber criminals are finding ways to trick people to get as many money as they can. These scammers are smart that they can always come up with new tactics that will surely entice you to join or engage with. Don’t be fooled by these scammers.

Have you been Scammed?

Scammers are getting better these days and they are increasing in number, if you are one of their victims or received a scam email you can report them to us at You should inform your family, friends and colleagues to keep them safe. Read our blog SubmitScams and know the latest scams that people report to us and keep yourself protected against them.

If in case you have provided these scammers your passport, bank account details, or other personal information call your bank, financial institution or other agencies right away to inform them.

[bkinfobox backgroundcolor=”#F8F8F8″ ]Buying or Selling

Please help us to warn people about internet frauds by reporting them: Submit Scam.


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