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Local businesses have been subject to a new scam recently involving purchasing high value items on eBay.

There are lots of scams circulating at the moment such as the Phishing Scam, however some can be more damaging than others and the deposit scam would be one of them.

This scam works by using your disappointment when losing a bid on an item to get you to part with a large deposit when you receive an email, from what appears to be eBay, offering a second chance to secure the item.

Almost always the person who offers the second chance offer is not the person who listed the item. After being outbid on an item, sometimes by the scammer themselves, the scammer will keep a record of all bidders on the item and will then contact you and other bidders by personal email offering a second chance. You will then be asked by the scammer to pay a deposit to secure the item, you go to collect the item and pay the balance and nobody knows what you are talking about, you never hear from them again.

What to look for

  • The scammer will normally try to contact you personally rather than through eBay to avoid the actual seller finding out about a second chance that hasn’t been issued. Avoid this and always use eBay as communication.
  • The scammer will normally ask you to pay instantly, claiming that Paypal charges are too expensive or another excuse to keep the transaction away from eBay.
  • Check the original listing and search the seller’s details, check that the seller’s email has come through to your eBay messages and has not just appeared in your inbox. Contact the seller via their feedback page and ask them to confirm the offer.
  • Read the seller’s feedback including items sold and bought recently and check it is justified.
  • Always try to use Paypal even for deposits as this can be traced.