Five ways to lose money selling things online

Zhanna often lends spontaneously bought and unused shoes and bags, clothes from past seasons, old phones, household appliances and furniture through various online platforms with private ads. Many times, under the guise of buyers, scammers began to communicate with her and tried to deceive her. Sometimes they succeeded, and instead of revenue, Jeanne received losses. We tell you what mistakes she made and how not to repeat them.

Many sites and applications through which you can sell and buy things and services help users protect themselves from intruders. They block malicious links in correspondence, offer secure payment systems, and allow you to encrypt your number when publishing an ad so that it does not end up in the hands of scammers.

People are constantly reminded of the rules of financial security. But not everyone follows them – and this leads to losses.

Mistake №1: Disclosing Your Personal Information

Zhanna did not want to spend a lot of time communicating with potential buyers, so she immediately wrote in the ad the number of her card, to which payment for the purchase should be transferred. She also decided not to hide her mobile – after all, it is easier to agree on everything by phone.

They called her really quickly. But not a potential buyer, but a “bank security officer.” He said that a suspicious transaction was being carried out on her card and that in order to cancel it, you need to “go through verification”.

The “security guard” called the card number himself, Zhanna had to say the rest of the details – the expiration date, the name of the owner and three digits on the back. After the frightened Zhanna dictated all the information, all the money was deducted from her card.

What happened: Social engineers, who play on people’s feelings, often need only a phone number to start a conversation to get to their account. And Jeanne was so open that they did not even have to find out her card number.

It is easy to determine from it both the bank that issued the card and the payment system. When scammers themselves provide this “confidential information” to a person, he often gets the impression that a real bank employee is calling. And having already aroused confidence, swindlers lure out the rest, really secret data, which open access to the account of a gullible interlocutor.

“I just ran into a situation, a phone call, a person introduced himself as a bank employee and said that a third-party phone connected to my account and tried to transfer money …”

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

Personal data can also be used by unscrupulous marketers who collect phone numbers from open sources, and then overwhelm you with advertising offers.

What you should do: when compiling an ad on the Internet, limit yourself to a description of the product. Do not provide card details and personal data: exact address, passport number and other confidential information. Never post photos of bank cards and documents.

It is also better to hide your mobile phone number, if the portal or application for ads allows you to do this. Buyers will be able to call the number that the online platform will provide you with, or contact the chat service of the ads.

Mistake №2: Discussing Details in Third Party Messengers

Once, a customer from another city liked Jeanne’s handbag. She suggested discussing how best to send the package in a popular messenger.

They agreed on everything, and the handbag lover sent Zhanna a link to a “reliable and inexpensive delivery service.” Everything looked convincing: the buyer transfers the agreed amount to the courier service, which takes the parcel from Zhanna and immediately sends the money to her card. But when Zhanna filled out a questionnaire on the website of the “courier service”, where she indicated, among other things, all the details of her card, money was stolen from her.

“I was selling a computer through a well-known classifieds portal. A buyer was found and offered to discuss the details of the deal not in the chat of the site itself, but in the messenger. It’s kind of more convenient. Discussed. He writes: yes, everything suits, now I will pay, you need to enter your card number for transfer … ”

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

What happened: scammers create special phishing pages that help them find out the user’s card details. They disguise these pages as delivery service sites, payment pages for ad services, and money transfer systems.

If you enter your full card details on these fake pages, including the secret code on the back of the card, the scammers will actually get the key to your account.

Ad service chats usually block phishing links. That is why scammers try to take you away from a secure site to a third-party site.

What to do: Don’t miss out on the “secure deal” service often offered by major classifieds services. In this case, the buyer pays for the goods with a bank card, the money is reserved on the account of the online platform and goes to the seller’s card as soon as the buyer receives the package.

Well-known Russian and international courier companies also allow you to pay according to this scheme.

If it is not possible to pay the buyer personally, you can send the parcel by cash on delivery. The recipient will pay for it at the post office, pick up the goods, and the post office will transfer the money to you.

Mistake №3: give the buyer confidential information about the bank card

Zhanna decided to buy a home theater and sell her TV. Almost immediately, she received a call from the television studio and was told that they were ready to buy it out – they just needed such a model. And they even offered to immediately transfer the advance to her.

This time, no secret codes were asked from Jeanne. All you had to say was the card number and expiration date. But when she reported them, a large amount was again deducted from her card.

“It all started with the fact that I decided to sell a refrigerator on the Internet. I posted an ad on a popular site, and literally five minutes later a buyer calls. He says he works for a company that buys old refrigerators. They repair and resell them, and those unsuitable for repair are used for parts. Like, they are very interested in the model of my refrigerator and they are ready to transfer the prepayment right now … ”

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

What happened: In some online stores, you do not need to enter a three-digit code on the back of the card and confirmation codes from the bank to make a purchase. Fraudsters take advantage of this. They pay the bill with someone else’s card, knowing only its number, expiration date and the name of the owner.

What to do: to transfer money, a card or account number is enough. No other information can be provided.

Mistake №4: giving away the goods before the buyer paid for it

Jeanne bought expensive shoes, but she could not walk in them – the heel was too high. The return period to the store has already expired, so she decided to sell them. A buyer from an ad site came to her house, she liked the shoes, and she immediately transferred money to Jeanne via phone.

Zhanna saw with her own eyes how the girl in the application of her bank transferred the required amount to her card. For some reason, Jeanne did not receive a notification about the receipt of money.

“It happens that the transfer arrives with a slight delay,” the customer assured her. “Sometimes after a few minutes. But you yourself saw – I sent everything. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run.” The girl with the shoes disappeared, but Jeanne never received her money.

“I was given a new phone, but I didn’t need it, I immediately decided to sell it via the Internet. Made an ad on a popular website. Almost immediately, a guy called and said he wanted to buy a phone. Asked to meet as soon as possible, because he buys as a gift. We agreed at the subway, I came with a friend in a black Mercedes … ”

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

What happened: Sometimes scammers use banking app demos. There you can simulate a transfer – the screen just shows how the transfer of money will look in the application, but in fact the amounts from account to account are not transferred.

In some cases, scammers create duplicate websites that look like real online banks.

How to do it: just like in the store. First, the buyer must pay for the goods and only then pick it up. Transfer from card to card takes just a minute. Be sure to wait until the bank sends you a message about the transfer of money.

When you are given cash, make sure the money is real. Or ask you to withdraw money from an ATM in front of you.

Again, a “secure transaction” service of an ad service or a trusted courier service can help out.

Mistake №5: Clicking on links from strangers

Zhanna was selling an old sofa. This time, she decided to carry out all calculations through the ad service application. She received an SMS message that the buyer had already transferred the deposit for her sofa, and the message contained the correct amount and a link.

Zhanna clicked on the link and saw the page of her ad marked with payment. And below there was a button – to update the application so that the translation went through correctly. Jeanne pressed this button, the application opened for her, but she had to re-enter her contact and card details. And then (well, you already understood) – her bank account was reset to zero.

“Sold my old tablet through the application of a well-known classifieds site. SMS came that someone bought a tablet and has already transferred money. There was written the amount of 10,000 r and a link. I click on the link, the page of the site on which I posted information about the sale was opened … ”

Be vigilant, do not step on other people’s rakes!

What happened: The scammers created a fake page that replicated the design of the original app. They inserted a screenshot of Zhanna’s ad on this page, added a note about payment and added a button with a link.

When Jeanne clicked on the link and downloaded the “updated version of the app” of the ad service, she actually downloaded a virus to her phone. Malicious programs not only steal card data, but also steal passwords and codes from online banking. This is how scammers gain access to all bank accounts and withdraw money from them.

What you should do: you need to install antivirus programs on all your gadgets and update them regularly. You should never click on links from letters and messages of unknown users.

When you go to the site of an online service, store, bank or other organization you know, check the address bar very carefully. Fake sites can be very similar to real ones, and their addresses can differ by only one or two characters. To learn how to recognize a duplicate site, read the article “Phishing: what it is and how to protect yourself from it.”

How to act in the event that criminals still managed to gain access to your accounts can be found in the text “What to do if money was stolen from a bank card”.

Swindlers sometimes turn out to be not only buyers, but also sellers. In order not to fall for their tricks, read the article “Safe online shopping”.