Shop online safely
Buying from people online
The internet is a great way to buy and sell new or second hand goods. But you should look out for fake adverts on social media or trading websites.
What to look out for:
- Bad reviews - Lots of good reviews from different buyers are better than mixed, bad or no reviews at all.
- Amazing deals - If prices on a site are a lot lower than other sellers, it could be a scam.
- Requests for advance payments - If an item is large and expensive, like a car, fraudsters may invite you to view then ask you to pay before you can pick it up. Once they have your money they'll disappear. Don’t pay until they hand the item over to you.
- Odd ways of paying - A fake site may ask you to pay by direct bank or wire transfer. These are hard to trace. If things go wrong, you may not get your money back.
What you can do:
- Take your time - Make sure an offer is genuine before you choose to buy.
- Ask the seller questions - If a seller can't tell you any details about the goods or tries to hurry you into paying, do not buy from them.
- Choose a safe way to pay - When you pay on a site, use a normal method, like your debit or credit card. Be careful if you pay another way.
- Don’t pay upfront - If an item is large and expensive, like a car, do not pay for it until the seller hands it over.
- Take a friend to the sale - Don't go alone if you’re meeting the seller in person and handing over cash.