Using Classified Ad and Auction Websites
Friday July 12, 2013
posted by KNB
Tags: Customer Education 

Using Classified Ad and Auction Websites

Classified ad and auction websites are a great way to find good deals on a variety of products and services. However, the internet has become the method of choice for criminals to locate their next victim. Classified ad and auction websites typically involve exchanging money and property and the victim can be the buyer or seller. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use caution when a seller has multiples of the same items for no apparent reason. Watch for complex stories involving the item’s history or reason for the sell. People selling stolen items often are looking to sell the item quickly thus appearing to be an exceptionally good deal for the buyer.
  • Some might think a bank cashier’s check is as good as gold. However, banks across the US have become victims of fraud as well. Criminals have created fraudulent cashier’s checks in attempts to gain possession of property before a seller realizes the cashier’s check is fraudulent.
  • Use caution when you feel pressured by another party to use money-wiring services such as Western Union or MoneyGram as your only means of transferring funds. Although money-wiring companies themselves transact legitimate business, criminals often prefer this payment method as it is a means to move funds quickly.
  • If you are selling an item and find yourself involved in a situation where you need to send money (even to a third party) you may be involved in an overpayment scam. Overpayment scams usually involve elaborate stories and can involve additional parties to help move fraudulent funds. The original payment from the buyer may be fraudulent funds and if you send money, you may experience financial loss.
  • Email is a great way to communicate but be careful releasing information by email. Sometimes this type of correspondence may be a phishing attempt. Phishing is a method used by criminals to obtain private information such as website usernames and passwords. Email and web browsing are the most common ways to obtain a computer virus so use caution when clicking on links.
  • Protect your privacy by only discussing matters necessary to the purchase when dealing with strangers. Personal details such as your work schedule, address, and general lifestyle could be valuable information to a criminal.
  • Let KNB know when you are depositing a money order or check associated with an online transaction. We may be able to take additional measures to protect you.


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