1. If you get an offer for a product that offers you more money than usual. I have been offered outrageous prices for items I knew were not that expensive. Obviously, the bad guys hope you will send this item to them before you realize the scam.
2. Look for suspicious emails. These might include emails from PayPal that says you have been paid. When you go to your PayPal account there is no money for the product. The bad guys have gotten really good at copying PayPal’s site. They will try to duplicate PayPal’s email to you. Payment is immediate in PayPal and if there is no money there for your product…watch out.
3. Watch for the “I can’t pay through your site. Can I pay you with another merchant close by you?” If you are a seller, you probably have a merchant account set up and there is no reason they cannot pay you through your site.
4. Be alert if a buyer offers you more than one credit card to use for the product being sold.
5. Advertisements being answered by email asking if you still have the product and they want you to reply ASAP. The bad guys like to make all offers seem urgent. Hurry and reply to my email. Hurry and send the product. Be Aware.
6. Emails that threaten you to ship the product immediately or you will have legal action taken against you. This is at first glance, shocking. You wonder if maybe you should believe the emails that preceded this saying you have been paid, although payment is never made and does not show in your account.
7. Letters on website or reply email to you are jumbled and numbers are out of place. Most merchant account businesses that send email to their clients do not have jumbled numbers and words. They are professional and they will look that way all the time.
8. If you use eBay, iOffer or sites similar to these of course you need to be up to speed on their policy but make your buyer go through the actual process setup by the host of your products. These guidelines are set to protect you from this type of scam.
9. Watch for people that want to talk you into accepting a payment by a method you are not using or don’t want to use. If the seller truly wants your product, they will buy in the form you want to sell from.
10. Common sense. I know this might sound kind of arrogant, but it is true. Think through your transaction before you accept some off the wall payment option a scammer has come up with.
I know maybe some of this is elementary, but all of these have been tried on my business and I am sure some of these have been tried on your online business as well. There are good buyers out there and there are honest people. Be smart and hope you sell your products safely.