Online shopping, eBay included, is a fairly safe practice. In fact, some argue that online shopping is safer than shopping in a brick and mortar store. The majority of purchases online take place without any fraudulent claims. However, some fraudulent activities do still take place. Efforts should be made by all parties to ensure fraudulent transactions remain uncommon and continue to decline. After all, if a retailer, such as eBay, can’t control fraud they will soon begin to see their customer base deteriorate. Buyers on eBay should also be knowledgeable about fraudulent activities and the next few paragraphs will discuss some tips that can be followed to avoid being “duped”.

First and foremost, a buyer should never divulge personal information in reply to an email sent to your email account. There are identity theft companies and/or individuals that will replicate a site like eBay and then ask for personal information. This information could include usernames, passwords, PayPal account information, credit card numbers and expiration dates, birth dates, etc. These criminals then use that personal information to withdraw funds from your account without your knowledge. They also might attempt to purchase goods and services, both small and large, in your name. Genuine sites like eBay and PayPal will never ask for your personal information via an email or phone call. If you receive an email asking for such information, type in the URL of the site you wish to visit (never follow the link in the email) and then enter your username and password in the required fields. If a company needs information from you there should be a notice after you login.

As mentioned above, beware of fraudulent messages that tell you to click on a link. Some of these messages might state that you have purchased an item on eBay and you need to “click here” and enter your username and password to review the invoice details. Once you click on the “click here” link you would probably be taken to a website that looks just like eBay. Look at the URL of the page? Does it look normal? Does it start with Probably not! Whenever you receive these fraudulent messages you should delete them immediately without replying. When in doubt, delete the email and login yourself to see if you have any messages.

When buying on eBay, most people prefer to deal with sellers that have a decent feedback score. Don’t automatically dismiss a seller that has only a few negative comments. Some buyers are hard to please and leave unnecessary or unfair comments and/or ratings. Pay more attention to the average feedback a seller has received over the last three months. If you see a pattern of deceit or dishonesty, move along to a new seller. Find an honest seller? Leave positive feedback and help the next buyer locate this honest merchant.

The majority of buyers and sellers on eBay prefer to send and receive payments via PayPal, an eBay owned company. These transactions are extremely secure, safe, quick and easy. Avoid using other option payments such as Western Union. However, some sellers still do not accept PayPal. They might ask you to pay via mail or other sites. Use your best judgment on these requests and always question payment options before you bid.

Author's Bio: 

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