Most Shared

TroubleShooter

TroubleShooter

 
text size

Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Online Auction Scams

Updated: Thursday, March 27 2014, 10:24 AM EDT
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- You can buy or sell just about anything on the internet but you've got to be wary of scams.

Computers, sports memorabilia, designer clothing and cars, these are just a few of the items offered for sale everyday on online auction sites.
 
As the popularity of these sites has grown, even rare antiquities such as coins and bank notes, are available. The common thread? All of these items, at one time or another, are being used to lure unsuspecting victims into a scam. "And what they were doing was selling collectible and vintage bank notes through an online auction site," says U.S. Postal Inspector Greg Botti.
 
Legitimate sellers were selling those bank notes but a con-artist was on the other end purchasing them. "The buyer would agree to buy the notes. Upon receipt, some time would pass, he would say "I never received the items, or I only got part of the items' initiating a process called a credit card charge back."
 
The scheme worked. Postal inspectors started tracking the case and found hundreds of victims and $120,000 in losses. "The individual used dozens and dozens of credit cards, used various user IDs through the auction sites to mask their identity. That is what allowed the frauds to be perpetrated over a lengthy period of time."
 
Inspectors recommend: If you are selling a unique item on the internet,
"take a picture of the item or items that you're selling. A lot of times the item is very unique and may have a serial number."
 
Also keep any receipts from the post office as well as any correspondence between you and the seller. Inspectors say consumers need to protect themselves against these scam artists who are motivated by one thing, "getting money from people through lies and deceit."

The suspect in this case has been charged with mail fraud and is awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

If you feel you're the victim of fraud in an online transaction contact your state's attorney general's office and the postal inspector.





Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!




Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Online Auction Scams


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Scam Alert

  • E-greeting Card Scam

    The e-greeting card scam is not a new one, but the FBI says it's returned with a vengeance.

    It's Internet Crime Complaint Center is receiving an increasing number of complaints.

    The fraud e-cards contain malware as an attachment, or it contains a link which sends the recipient to a web page where they can pick up viruses, keystroke loggers or other so-called trojan horse programs.

    The e-cards sometimes even appear to be from legitimate e-card greeting web sites-- but the actual address of the links point to a numeric address, rather than one containing the name of the postcard company.

    If you get one of these e-mails you can file a complaint on the FBI's web site, http://www.ic3.gov/.
  • Jury Duty Scam

    Officials all across the Tri-State are warning about a jury duty scam that may put you at risk for identity theft.

    Police say someone has been calling residents and saying they face arrest for failing to report for jury duty.

    The caller asks people for personal information including their Social Security numbers to clear up the situation.

    Authorities say the calls are part of a nationwide scam. If you think you have been a victim call your local police or sheriff's department.
 

More TroubleShooter Links

TroubleShooter Feedback

Do you have a problem that needs Howard's attention? Fill out the form below and let him know!
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.
Advertise with us!