How to detect a fraud

Fraud isn’t something that most people had to contend with before the internet entered our homes but now that we’re connected to the world through our PCs and smartphones, we’re all in danger of becoming part of an online fraud.

How to detect fraud

The saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” should form the basis of your thoughts when something comes into your inbox that says you can make money fast. If that’s happened to you, you really should walk away by deleting the message. Dealing with a potential fraud when you’re the seller rather than the potential buyer is far harder because you won’t want to turn customers away.

Questions to ask yourself and the buyer

Is the buyer of your goods, service or online auction product asking you to expedite the item’s postage? If so, they could be paying with a stolen card that will soon be cancelled. Is your buyer contactable by email? You can ask anyone you’re a little suspicious of a few questions and see if they respond. A response is a good sign that they’re probably not going to defraud you.

Determine the buyer’s information

You need to double check the buyer’s information to work out if he or she is genuine. Check out a site like 192.com which uses the electoral roll to list people and their addresses. If you’re dealing with an individual and you can’t find them on this site, alarm bells should be ringing. Another simple check is to look at the individual’s Email address. A free Email service you’ve never heard of will also cause concern, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with a scammer.

Scam examples

Check out these examples of the sorts of scams doing the rounds online.

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