Tips for Avoiding Scams
Unfortunately, from time to time folks listing items for sale in classified sections of newspapers and/or websites are the targets of scams. The easiest way to avoid falling victim to one of these scams is to be aware of suspicious replies to your listings, never give out private information via email, and try to meet in person when making transactions.
Most classified listing scams are conducted via email. Be aware of suspicious email replies containing:
• Poor grammar and spelling, vague or strange wording.
• Responses from distant places (especially foreign countries or a far-off state).
• Offers to pay using cashier checks, certified checks, or money orders.
• Contact information that does not match (ex. phone number from different state than address).
Although most scams are initiated through email, look out for these signs in telephone conversations as well.
If you believe you have been targeted by a scam online, you can file a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov.
If you believe you have been targeted by a phone scam, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
For more resources on fraud and scams visit https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds.