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Online Purchase Arbitrator

How the scam works:

You just won an online auction for a sweet little ride. The vehicle isn't cheap, so you're being extremely cautious about checking out the owner. To prove he's serious and reliable, the seller suggests a third party arbitrator that will verify both sides. 

The buyer sends the money to the arbitrator, who is also supposed to verify if the product offered for sale really exists. But the arbitrator is part of the scam, being one and the same person as the seller.

How to avoid:

If the seller recommends Yahoo Finance or MSN Finance as an arbitrator, stay away. There's no such thing. Scammers use well-known names to make their operations look more official. They simply create fake e-mail addresses and send messages to the buyer confirming that the products really exist. The victims send the money to the arbitrator thinking they are safe, but the arbitrator and the seller are one and the same. In short, only use the official arbitrators of the website you're buying the car from.

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