How you can buy and sell online safely

Holiday shopping has moved online but a new AARP survey says buying all your gifts this way...
Holiday shopping has moved online but a new AARP survey says buying all your gifts this way increases risk of being scammed.(wvir)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 11:29 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Online marketplaces like Facebook, Craigslist, Poshmark and Ebay make it easy to sell items online. The Better Business Bureau of Missouri is offering up some tips to help you do it safely.

- Know what your item is worth. If you post something online and someone reaches out offering you more than you’re asking for or they request you to send them cash or a gift card for the overpayment, it may be a scam.

- When it comes to payment options, apps like Venmo, Cashapp and Zelle don’t require that you give someone much more information than your username or phone number. Sometimes, scammers will tell you they need an address or account information to send money, when what they’ll actually do it take it from your account. Be especially cautious when providing your personal information to someone you don’t know.

- When you’re deciding where to hand off the item you’re selling, the BBB says to be very careful where you meet.

”Whether they’re buying or selling online, never give the other party your home address. If you’re going to make a local purchase or sell an item locally, asked to meet the person at a public place such as the police department.” Pamela Hernandez, Regional Director, Missouri Better Business Bureau

The Springfield Police Department does offer a safe exchange zone with parking spots that are available 24/7. They’re located at the main headquarters on East Chestnut Expressway and the South Springfield police department on West Battlefield Road.

If you’re online shopping instead of selling, there are a number of scams that can cost you money.

The BBB say it’s important to take steps to avoid falling into a scam.

- Be aware of adds or pop-ups on social media advertising deals that are ‘too good to be true,’ offer a coupon or take you to a fake website. Always look for the ‘s’ on the https in the web address to make sure the site is secure.

- Read plenty of reviews before you make a purchase. You can do this on third party sites and on the better business bureau website. You want to make sure that you’re buying from a legitimate website and not a fake one.

The BBB has been receiving a lot of reports recently on one scam in particular, the ‘out of stock scam.’

“So what happens is a consumer purchases something online and they use their credit card for the purchase. a few days after the card is charged, the seller contacts the consumer to let them know that the item is out of stock, and that they will be processing a refund. however, the refund never appears and when the consumer tries to contact the seller, they get no response.” Pamela Hernandez, Regional Director, Missouri Better Business Bureau

When making online purchases, the BBB says that using a credit card can make filing a claim and getting your money back easier. Also make sure to keep a receipt of your transaction and any information that you have. If you do believe you’ve been scammed, you can file a complaint on the BBB website in addition to contacting your bank or credit card to file a claim.

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