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Auctions: Selling Items

How the scam works:

This is a very common scam on websites like eBay or Craigslist. Scammers will post a hot item for sale, but set a higher starting price than usual, so nobody will bid. You're interested in the item, but don’t want to overpay. Since nobody else is bidding, you contact the seller and try to negotiate a lower price.

He accepts and says he'll remove the auction so you can pay the lower price. Since the auction is now gone, the only method of payment is to wire him the money as the item gets shipped to you. The only problem is you won't ever get the item, and it may have never existed in the first place.

How to avoid:

Savvy readers may be picking up on a couple themes here. Wiring is a very dangerous venture, since you can't track it. It's also almost always a bad idea to send money when you have no assurances the item is coming.

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