Every day we hear reports of people successfully selling stuff on our website. But occasionally we hear about scammers who surf the classifieds to find potential dupes. The most common type of scam that we see starts out when an overseas or out-of-area buyer pays by cashier’s check (usually for more than the amount of the item) and then requests the balance of the funds via wire transfer. The checks are counterfeit. But before the bank finds out — which can take several days or weeks — the unsuspecting seller has wired hundreds or thousands of dollars to Nigeria or some other distant land, far beyond the reach of local law enforcement.
Although we do take proactive steps to stop these scammers, the best defense is a little common sense. And to that end, here are some tips for safe selling online: