Craigslist, Ebay and other online buying/selling scams.
#188679 by Michael Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:18 pm
Beware of fraudulent online shops!

With the growing rate of people shopping online, the amount of money involved has grown exponentially over the last few years. Where money is involved, criminals are quick to adapt new techniques to steal as much as possible. While this type of scam is outside of our scope here at Scamwarners, we receive many inquiries about whether an online shop is legitimate or not. In many of those cases we are unable to provide a concrete answer, and so can only provide this basic advice when it comes to purchasing electronics or clothing online.

If the price is too good to be true, it's a scam

Someone looking to purchase something will always compare prices. In the real world, this is a good tactic. But online, this opens the door for scammers. Especially when it comes down to new, popular products (smartphones, tablets,..) a significantly reduced price is a sign of a scam. Exceedingly low prices have been put in place to lure victims. You're not a winner when you find a website that sells the latest phone for $100 cheaper than the others, you're a potential victim.

If you see Western Union or Moneygram as a payment option, it's a scam

Western Union and Moneygram are by far the most favourite payment method for scammers to steal your money. They are services to wire money anywhere in the world, meant only to be used to send money to people you know in person.
Those payments are completely untraceable and once the money has been picked up, it is gone forever. Legitimate companies do not use these services to receive payments.
If you see these options listed, stay away!

If you see the seller is Chinese, it's almost certainly a scam

The Chinese fake shops outnumber the real shops by thousands to one. If it is not an outright scam in which you receive nothing, it is likely a site selling counterfeit goods, also known as knockoffs.
Apart from the fact that Armami, iPhome and Samsong aren't as classy as Armani, iPhone or Samsung, there is the matter that you can get in serious trouble with customs for your country for importing fake items even if you did not know it was a knockoff brand.
You could end up paying a fine of $1000 just because you saw a smartphone that was $50 cheaper than in your local electronics store.

Despite our knowledge and experience, it is sometimes impossible for us to distinguish the real from the fake sites, and the risk to you as a consumer is just too high. We suggest that you stay away from Chinese seller websites.

But the seller is a gold member on Alibaba, surely he must be real?

No. All this means is that he is a paid member from an ad website, and not that he is legitimate. For a scammer, it is a small investment to make: the upgraded status members see will make him look more reliable. The upgraded status does not mean he offers a good service.

Here on scamwarners we are unable to provide live support regarding the authenticity of this type of website. We strongly encourage everyone to buy these items in a physical store or on the website of well-known stores. If you do decide to browse for clothes or electronics from unknown resellers, these are a few resources which may help you determine if you're dealing with a legitimate reseller or not:

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