Online safety tips

Jul 23, 2016
How Do I Safely Use Online Classifieds Sites to Sell Something?
 Advertising items for sale on internet classified sites is a great way to spread the word to likely buyers, but there are risks you take when you do. Your first line of defense is to use reputable services and follow closely any advice the site gives about buying and selling safely.
How to create a safe ad
- Stick to the facts of the item being sold. Do not put any information that identifies you personally if it’s not strictly necessary. Keep in mind that every piece of information you post may be used for other purposes than you intended. Limit your information to limit your risk.
- Look hard at any photo you post, you don’t want it to include house numbers in the background, or license plate numbers, include family members, etc. Show just the item being sold.
- If you want the convenience of allowing people to call you (as opposed to emailing you), use a free disposable phone number. You can get one easily by searching on ‘disposable phone number’ and selecting from one of several companies that provide this service. Don’t put your personal phone number in the ad – you don’t want people to be able to harass you later, and there are several reverse look-up directories may provide a wealth of information about you that can be used in ways you would not appreciate.
- If the service does not have their own email service, create a disposable email account that does not show any personal information – like your name, location, or age. Again, you do not want people to have your primary account information to harass you through.
Other safety tips
- Avoid spam, do not post your email address in your ad. Use your phone number.
- Don't deal with buyers outside India. 
- Don't deal with buyers who wish to pay via Western Union or some other unusual method.
- Don't send money back to buyers who "overpay" you. The funds they initially sent you will bounce.
- Be very careful if you receive a TEXT message regarding your ad. This has become a very common tool for scammers to try to obtain your email address and other information. If you are unsure, do NOT reply and simply block the caller on your cell phone.
- Don't reply to prospective scam messages. Forward suspicious emails to us. We'll let you know if it is suspicious and disable the scammer's account.
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