Look out for scammers on online second-hand platforms. Are you faced with one of the following situations? Then be vigilant and do not proceed with the transaction.
- You are asked to continue the sale outside of the website.
- You are asked to pay via a parcel or transport company.
- You are asked to perform a bank verification.
- The buyer offers you a higher amount than what you asked for.
- You are asked to pay a deposit to confirm the sale via Western Union or Moneygram.
By continuing the sale outside the website, the site cannot intervene in case of suspicious activities. Be vigilant when the buyer/seller asks to communicate further with an email address that is not linked to their account on the second-hand website.
The buyer proposes to arrange collection of the items via a parcel delivery service such as DPD, DHL or UPS or a transport company.
Parcel delivery service
You will be asked to create an account on the website of a parcel delivery service or transport company. The scammer will send you a link to a fake website that resembles the official website of e.g. DPD, DHL or UPS. Look out for domain names such as UPS-be.com, DPD_be.nl, or DHL.anydomain.be. Learn how to check domain names on our page “Learn to Identify fake E-mails”
The interested buyer wants to buy your item immediately, without having seen it. But you have to pay for the transport costs from a transport company, and you have to pay these costs to ensure the sale goes ahead.
The scammer will send you a link to a website of a transport company that does not exist. The scammer has created their own website to make you believe that it is a real transport company.
You have to log into the fake website using your bank card and your card reader. This is supposedly required to take care of the shipment, but in fact you are passing on your bank details to the scammers. Once they have your bank details, they will empty your accounts.
This method is also called phishing. Learn to identify phishing here.
Be particularly vigilant when asked to browse a website via a forwarded link to verify that your IBAN number is correct. The scammer will tell you that he/she has been scammed before and now wants to make sure you are the real deal. So he/she asks you to prove that your IBAN number is correct. Watch out! You will be redirected to a phishing website.
Sometimes you will be asked to transfer a small amount (often € 0.01) to their account for verification. Here too, the scammer will send you a false link to steal your bank details.
In the example below, the domain name is second-hand-be. This is suspicious, because the official domain name is of course secondhand. Learn how to check domain names here.
Online scammers will offer a higher amount to attract your interest and attention. Again, if something is too good to be true, it is usually not true.
The seller asks you to pay a deposit to confirm the sale. Scammers will ask you to pay via Western Union or Moneygram. They erase their tracks using a system of intermediaries or money mules. You have lost the advance.
Never pay via a link sent to you by the scammer. Scammers can steal your bank details, and then your money via fake websites.