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Fraud­sters are abusing small ad portals

Auc­tion por­tals and small ad plat­forms are very pop­ular. But there are crim­i­nals lurking there, too. Don’t let your­self be led up the garden path!

It is not just after the bank hol­i­days that those bar­gain offers on adver­tising and auc­tion plat­forms are booming. That’s some­thing fraud­sters take advan­tage of, too: No or fake goods, no pay­ment or hidden rip-off fees are the eternal peren­nials amongst complaints.

Options such as “buyer pro­tec­tion” pro­vided by plat­form and pay­ment ser­vice providers unfor­tu­nately only offer inad­e­quate safe­guards. If you want to play it 100% safe, you shouldn’t just apply a healthy dose of sus­pi­cion, but also follow these tips:

  • If it looks too good to be true, it prob­ably is: Don’t go for unre­al­istic offers.
  • You should limit your­self to items from your own region. That way, many fraud­u­lent offers (which can reach a wide catch­ment area) are not dis­played in the first place.
  • Check reviews of poten­tial busi­ness part­ners before you enter into any deal.
  • Care­fully read the offer descrip­tion before you buy. In case of doubt, ask.
  • When­ever pos­sible, you should only sell your items col­lec­tion-only and against cash payment.
  • Don’t pay any insur­ance, han­dling or ship­ping fees in advance.
  • Don’t agree any pay­ment methods unfa­miliar to you.
  • Cut off all con­tact with a buyer or seller if they try and put you under pressure.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion can be found here: www.skppsc.ch/online-betrug

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