Fraud Facts: How to Avoid Online Sales Scams

Hand scrolling on a phone with a debit card

Identifying a Scam – Common Themes in Online Sales Scams:

  • Buyer’s payment is more than the agreed price and asks you to return funds. This likely means the payment they have given you is fake and want you to return your real money to them.
  • Seller or Buyer is too busy or not able to meet in person to complete the sale. This could be an indication they are planning on scamming you.
  • Seller asks for payment through a channel such as Bank Wire, Western Union, Money Gram, or a Money Transfer app. These channels are impossible to get funds back after they’ve been sent.
  • Seller is asking for your bank account information to process the payment. Most likely they don’t really have an item for sale, they just want your personal info.
  • Renter/Landlord is asking you for personal information to do a background check before you have viewed the rental. Most likely they don’t really have anything for rent, just want your info.
  • Rental price that seems too good to be true. It probably is and there is no rental, they just want your deposit funds.
  • Email or text from someone who is not located in your area. Could likely be a scam and looking to collect your info.
  • Seller claims the transaction is guaranteed or protected. Most online sites do not offer this, and they are trying to gain your trust, always verify this with the website directly.

Best Practices when Buying or Selling Online:

  • Do not accept a cashiers or certified check from a bank who will not verify the item is real. Fake Bank checks are commonly used in online scams to give a false sense of security.
  • Do not accept a money order that you cannot verify through a phone number you confirm on the issuer’s website (same with money orders).
  • Always exchange the item and payment at the same time, never allow payment at a later date. Someone who claims they will pay you when they get money should wait for the item until then as well.

We’re here to help. If you receive a suspicious call or text, call cPort directly at 1-800-464-0253. Even if our offices are closed, option 2 on our main menu will connect you to 24/7 card support.