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  • And always keep in mind the old adage that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Try to pay and accept payment via a credit card or PayPal, as these give you some dispute recourse.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union or MoneyGram. Not even the FBI can trace a wire transfer as you can pick it up anywhere in the state.
  • Know who you are dealing with - independently confirm your buyer's name, street address, and telephone number.
  • Never accept a check for more than your selling price.
  • Never agree to wire back funds to a buyer - a legitimate buyer will not pressure you to do so, and you have limited recourse if there is a problem with a wire transfer.
  • Resist pressure to "act now." If the buyer's offer is good now, it should be good when the check clears.
  • If you accept payment by check, ask for a check drawn on a local bank or a bank with a local branch. You can visit that bank branch to determine if the check is legitimate.
  • Consider an alternative method of payment, such as an escrow service or online payment service. If the buyer wants to use a service you have not heard of, be sure to check it out to be sure it is reliable - check its Web site, call its customer service hotline, and read its terms of agreement and privacy policy. If you do not feel comfortable with the service, do not use it.

Links:
Virus - Security Page in Technology
Tips on How to Identify a Scam or Fraud at ConsumerRraudReporting.org.
How to avoid a check overpayment scam: at ftc.gov
How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam
Fraud at CarBuyingTips.com/
Fraud Prevention Strategies at Georgia Tech (powerPoint)

last updated 10 Aug 2007