For sale advertisements in newspapers and on websites have become a fertile hunting ground for scammers.
Scammers are advertising non-existent goods, hoping to use their so-called bargain to fleece you of your hard-earned money.
They are advertising anything from puppies to boats, cars and car parts to concert tickets, sometimes masquerading as Australians to lull you into a false sense of security.
Sometimes scammers hijack other people’s advertisements and online seller or feedback profiles to fool you into believing they are a legitimate and reputable seller. If you do get conned, notify the website operators immediately so they can remove the advertisement.
Visit WA ScamNet
More information is available on WA ScamNet:
- Buying something sight unseen from strangers is always risky – particularly over the Internet.
- Always try to verify who you are dealing with and to get someone independent to inspect the goods. For example, if you are buying a car then pay for an independent inspection by a mechanic.
- When buying from a commercial shopping website, make sure it is a legitimate business and is a secure site. Scammers have been known to establish false sites. Independently verify that the supplier is a legitimate business with the correct address and phone number. Check that there is adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution and contact details.
- Sometimes the scammers ask you to transfer the money through a secure payment system. However, the site they refer you to is fake or a copycat site.
- Selling to strangers online can also be risky. Scammers have been known to use fake cheques, money orders and stolen credit cards. See WA ScamNet's information on overpayment scams.
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