- Only deal with people in your area.
The best way to avoid scammers is to deal locally, with people you can meet in person. Scammers will often contact you from another country or somewhere far away, asking you to ship the item you're selling.
- Don't wire funds (Western Union, Money Gram, etc.).
If you're asked to wire funds, you're talking to a scammer.
- Beware of fake cashier's checks and money orders.
Scammers will often send you a fake cashier's check valued above your asking price. The scammer will then ask you to wire the over-payment back to them. Your bank may even cash this check, but when it's discovered that the check is fraudulent, you will be held responsible by your bank.
- Don't make payments using gift cards.
You may be dealing with a scammer if you're asked to pay using gift cards.
- Beware of identity theft. Don't share your private info.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Don't give out bank account numbers, passwords, mother's maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, credit card numbers, social security numbers, or any other personal information.
- Use caution when accepting relay calls from the hearing and speech impared.
Relay calls are a legitimate service for people with hearing and speech disabilities. However, scammers often use this service to contact you, pretending to be deaf. Remember to deal locally, with people you can meet in person.
- Avoid shipping and escrow.
Scammers commonly employ fake, online escrow services.
- Avoid deals that are too good to be true.
Scammers try often to post fake ads, selling items that are significantly underpriced.