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Basics: Fraud Prevention

EPage services may be used by users from many backgrounds, and this offers a global marketplace for consumers and businesses. But crooks also recognize the potentials of cyberspace. The same scams that have been conducted by mail and phone can now be found on the World Wide Web and in email, and new cyberscams are emerging. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable online sellers and criminals who use the Internet to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud.

Be especially cautious when dealing with sellers in other countries. If you have a problem, the physical distance, difference in legal systems, and other factors could make resolving it very difficult.

Pay by credit card. Under federal law, you can dispute the charges if you paid the seller with a credit card and the goods were never delivered or if they were misrepresented. If you are paying through an intermediary service, ask what happens in the case of disputes.

Consider using an escrow service. For a small fee, an escrow service holds the buyer’s payment and forwards it to the seller upon the buyer’s receipt and approval of the item within an agreed upon inspection period. If there is a dispute about the item, the escrow service may act as a referee. Ask if the service is licensed and bonded, and how you can confirm that with the appropriate agency.

Common Fraud Techniques:

A seller has a laptop (or other expensive goods) for an amazingly cheap price. They take your money and run, leaving you nothing but a lighter wallet for your troubles. Solution: Escrow

A distant buyer offers a high-value cashier's check in exchange for your item, as a deposit for an apartment, or just about anything else. The value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service (usually Western Union). Banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR! This scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc) More...

A buyer wants to back out of the deal after sending a check/money order/Western Union and asks you to send them a personal check refund. Similar to this is a buyer from Africa or some other far away place will overpay you. When you notify them, they will ask you to send them the overage by wire transfer or Western Union. Usually the check they sent you was forged or otherwise bogus. More...

An African (usually Nigerian) national has millions of dollars (from their dead father/husband/brother who was a king/patriot/leader, or skimmed from some account) and wants you to help them get the money out of the country. They promise to pay you a share for your troubles. More...

Business Opportunities do exist, but there are also a bunch of scams. But be careful when the claims sound too good to be true: Make Millions as An Internet Consultant; We'll Build Your Downline For You; Home Workers Needed; Make Money Stuffing Envelopes; Assemble Crafts at Home; and More...

Some Fraud related sites for more information:

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