Posting a laptop for sale on eBay, Craigslist, or Kijiji, you sell it to the highest bidder. You two get in contact and he is fine with a traditional transaction, through PayPal.
He informs you his friend will meet you to pick up the laptop, as he is unavailable. You are waiting for his friend, while keeping an eye on your PayPal account. Literally, a minute before the friend shows up, your PayPal account receives the money, as agreed! You have time for nothing else, as the man is there already.
You shake hands, give him the laptop, and he leaves. You go online again so you can transfer the money from PayPal into your bank account. Bad news is, the transaction has been reversed a few moments after the guy left.
PayPal can reverse payments if they are not yet accepted by the person receiving the payment. Since you didn’t transfer the money into your bank account right away…the scammer waited in his car for the accomplice to pick-up the item and proceeded to reverse the payment.
How to avoid:
If the transaction is local (and you should only do local when selling on Craigslist), always ask for cash. If it is through paypal, tell the buyer he can pick up the item as soon as you have accepted the Paypal payment, and not before.
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