The Signs Of A Marketplace Scam

Recognize signs of fraud and use these best practices to safely buy and sell items. 

Protecting you from fraud is the top priority for me.

It’s important that you also take steps to prevent fraud. Watch for suspicious activity as outlined below and take precautions to protect yourself if something seems out of the ordinary or inconsistent.

Suspicious Activity When Selling  

  • The buyer asks you to verify your account via a Google code. 
  • The buyer asks you to verify anything through one of the following reports
  • The buyer asks you to pay with a non-common payment app.
  • The buyer explains that he/she is currently out of the country, currently Onewheel Utah Market is only based in the United States.
  • The buyer offers to pay with a money order or cashier’s check for significantly more than the asking price.
    • They then request that the extra money be returned to them via a legitimate means  —  usually Western Union. By the time the bank discovers the fraud and reverses the deposited check or money order, the excess money has usually already been sent to the fraudulent buyer, and the item may have been shipped. In every instance the bank will pass the loss back to you, who deposited the counterfeit check This means you are accountable for the cash sent — as well as any fees — and likely will not be able to retrieve your item if it has shipped.
  • The buyer explains that a third party or service will pick up or deliver the item.
  • Email or text inquiry is not specific to your item, seems odd or contains grammatical errors.
  • Buyer requests authentication or requires a history report on the item/vehicle through an unknown source, often with an accompanying website link.
  • The buyer sends a link that appears to be a OnewheelUtah login. Never access any links sent by buyers or sellers that seem abnormal. 
  • Buyer claims will handle the transaction. I don’t do that, and if I do I’ll make it very clear and verifiable who I am.
  • The seller asks to have money wired to them.

Suspicious Activity When Buying

  • Listing images do not appear to be original or are commonly used on other sites.
  • The buyer asks for payment prior to seeing the item or property
  • Item does not appear to have normal branding, logos, and or other identification normally associated with the manufacturer.
  • Images have background details that are abnormal to the local area (e.g. palm trees).
  • The Seller claims will handle the transaction. I don’t do that, and if I do I’ll make it very clear and verifiable who I am.
  • The seller claims offers purchase protection or a warranty.
    • DOES NOT offer any type of purchase protection or warranty program, nor do we partner with any third parties to offer such a program at the moment, that might happen down the road, but not right now.
  • The seller tells you a third party or service will deliver the item.

Safe Practices for Buyers and Sellers 

  • Never provide personal information that is not available to the public.
  • Be wary of dealing with those who are outside of local communities, especially outside of the country.
  • Always ask for paperwork (e.g. registration, warranty info, title, etc.) to verify a seller’s claims.
  • Check to see if the product you are buying or selling has been recalled.
  • Always verify the item’s condition and payment before concluding the deal.
  • Have an expert examine expensive items before listing or buying.
  • Always print a copy or take a screenshot of the listing for your records.
  • Make sure the terms of the sale are clear.
  • Create a simple contract or bill of sale and accompany the buyer/seller to notarize large transactions.
  • Meet buyers/sellers in person in an open, public location.
    • Many police stations offer “safe transaction zones.” Most large department stores have cameras in their parking lots to record your transaction. Meeting on federal property increases the penalties against anyone making bad choices during the transaction.
  • When using payment platforms like Apple Pay, Venmo, etc. meet in public and have the item in hand before sending money.
  • Be cautious of anyone who refuses to communicate on the telephone.
  • Negotiate terms as much as possible before you meet to avoid contentious negotiations in person.
  • Be honest about your expectations.

What To Do When You Suspect Fraud

If you find a listing that you feel is fraudulent, flag it using the flag listing button and fill out the required information on the form. I will review it and take the appropriate actions. 

If you receive messages from buyers outside of our local area, consider the offer carefully before responding. If you are suspicious, please let them know that you are not interested (or just ignore their offer). However, if you feel compelled to report these incidents you can do so by reporting a listing or seller here.

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