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Police advise: How to sell online safely using classified ads


Selling online via Ebay classifieds & Co. is booming. The scams with it are also booming. How to Safely Sell Online Using Classified Ads.

The fact that the wave of fraud with online classified ads and PayPal from 2020 will continue into 2021, the Lower Saxony State Criminal Police Office has summarized a number of pieces of advice on safe online sales.

For example, when selling via eBay classifieds etc., the police advise that you hand over the goods to the buyer directly at your location and collect the money in the process. This is best done in the presence of witnesses. On site, the goods can be checked / shown again from both sides in order to rule out later claims (e.g. defect).

The police also advise paying in cash. Watch out for counterfeit money. For larger sums, you should have the purchase amount paid in directly at a local bank / savings bank.

However, paying cash and depositing cash in a bank is not always practical, especially with larger items – how should you bring them to the bank? – and for larger amounts. In these cases, we recommend transferring the purchase amount to your bank account or paying it via PayPal as an alternative. Another advantage of paying by bank transfer instead of paying in cash on delivery: You avoid a buyer having to renegotiate again upon delivery and depressing the purchase amount.

So if you prefer bank transfer or PayPal, then you determine the payment and shipping method! Do not let the buyer impose any payment options on you that you do not know, do not see through or simply do not want.

Important: If you use PayPal, then under no circumstances use the “PayPal for friends” option. Because that’s not a safe bet when selling classified ads to people you don’t know. There is no protection here!

If you send the goods, then you determine the shipping route! Ideally, traceable and appropriately insured. If the buyer wants, for example, “parcel” and “uninsured”, then find out in advance about your rights and obligations (especially under civil law) as a seller. And reject that if necessary.

Do not send the goods until the amount has been visibly credited to your account.

Very important because a current scam is running: Do not transfer any fees to transport service providers that you have not selected yourself. And generally do not make any payments for whatever reason. In these two reports we present these attempts at fraud:

Police warn against classified ads fraud with PayPal

Beware of PayPal fraud: the police warn against this scam

If you pay by PayPal, make sure that the email address and postal address from the payment confirmation match the contact details from the email traffic. Beware of deviations. The police warns: If there is a deviation, a third party account may have been misused or a third person cheated (keyword triangular fraud! ”).

Be careful if the buyer asks for delivery to a different address (e.g. grandchildren!).

Cyber ​​gangsters try to get identity card data from people in order to commit identity theft. This allows gangsters to shop on behalf of others, for example. Therefore, never send sensitive data such as copies of ID cards, registration certificates, documents, etc. to unknown persons. Be careful if a stranger sends you such documents by email as proof of authenticity.

You can read more about identity theft in these messages:

Police warn of Bitcoin fraud – that’s how the scam works

Beware of data theft: New rip-offs via video chat

Ebay Classifieds: Introduction, Tips and Tricks

Police: This is how you recognize fraudulent fake shops

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