RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to watch out for an online sales scam on popular marketplace sites like Craigslist and eBay after receiving a report in Eastern North Carolina.
According to the BBB, after a seller posts an item of high value like a piece of furniture, a computer, or a vehicle on a site, scammers will pose as interested buyers claiming to want to purchase the item immediately. However, once the seller meets up with the buyer, the buyer won’t have any cash on hand, claiming to have used PayPal to complete the transaction.
The buyer sends a fake confirmation email to the seller, and may also say the transfer is “invisible” and thus won’t show up in your PayPal account. PayPal has no option for invisible transfers, and the scammer simply intends to take the item without paying for it.
Different versions of the scam also claim the buyer overpaid for the item and requests for the seller to pay back the difference.
To avoid getting scammed online, the BBB also recommends that consumers avoid accepting checks and money orders, refusing overpayments for items being sold on Craigslist or eBay, confirming that the buyer has paid before handing the item over, avoid offers from people claiming to be overseas, and meet potential buyers in a safe, public area.
For more information on how to keep yourself safe from internet scams, visit bbb.org.