BBB Advises Customers To Use Online Sites With Caution

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

So much shopping is now done online, but the Better Business Bureau is warning that caution must be used when consumers use services dealing with sellers they don’t know.

The BBB says that sites like Craigslist bring up several personal and financial risks for those who use them. Although many transactions and deals on Craigslist are honest and legit, criminals have been able to use Craigslist and sites similar to their advantage. The BBB is offering tips to make Craigslist use a safer experience.

Basic tips from the BBB include:
•Try to deal with local buyers and sellers.
•Never wire funds.
•Make sure you are using a reputable escrow service.
•Never give out your Social Security Number or other personal information.
•Don’t apply for jobs that require a payment.
•Apartment or home rentals should be inspected in person before money is put down.
•Consider the risks involved with selling a high value item yourself and weigh that against any extra profit you might make. Is it worth the risk?

The following are red flags—signs you might be dealing with a fraud:
•The buyer or seller is located in another country.
•The buyer or seller will not meet with you and will only communicate via e-mail.
•The buyer overpays (probably having sent you a fraudulent check) and asks you to wire the extra funds back to him/her.

The riskiest part of buying or selling something through Craigslist (or other e-commerce sites) is meeting a stranger to complete a transaction. These are some tips to decrease the risk factor:

•Set up meetings during daytime hours and in a public place.
•Consider bringing a friend or family member with you.
•If you’re the seller, consider using an escrow service.
•If you’re buying an item, don’t pay with cash if the item is more than $100; pay with a cashier’s check and let the seller know in advance that you’re paying with a cashier’s check.
•If the seller insists you come to their home or apartment, don’t.
•Trust your instincts. If you don’t like the direction things are taking, walk away.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by emily Location: lamb on Jun 7, 2011 at 08:03 PM
    Okay, Joe and the gang enough sales talk. The BBB likes to talk about their great reputation. Go to BBB roundup and read about their business. All these post just sound like another sales pitch to get people to pay their high fees. The BBB can call themselves a non-profit. But are you really a non profit if your owners and CEOs rank in thousands in salaries. huh? In regards to BBB.org. who cares. Anyone can be a .org for about 12.99, the cost it takes to register your domain in .org instead of .com or .net. As a SEO person, .org means nothing and if anyone here is keeping up with google you know that links don't count as much either. Only original content and useful information on your site matters. Yes you could google a company name and reviews the BBB will come up if a company is registered with them. This would be the same for any site that your site is listed under. You could also do a simple google search for directories and other places to list your business name and site like google and yahoo directories or in places like merchant circlle etc. Those are all for free btw. Notice I am not promoting any business. Please don't get ripped off by thinking if you pay for a link you will rank higher, that is so wrong it's embarressing someone woudl evern write it. If it was that easy why wouldn't every place just get a BBB link? Search the BBB on the 20/20 website or go to BBB roundup, it's worth your time and spread it to every other business owner you know.
  • by Jared Location: cos on Sep 23, 2010 at 08:47 PM
    To e: I think we got it, thanks.
  • by e. Location: The Springs on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    Unless it was different earlier, 'Advises' is correct, the verb; 'Advices' is the noun form.
  • by e. Location: The Springs on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    Unless it was different earlier, 'Advises' is correct, the verb; 'Advices' is the noun form.
  • by e. Location: The Springs on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    Unless it was different earlier, 'Advises' is correct, the verb; 'Advices' is the noun form.
  • by e. Location: The Springs on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM
    Unless it was different earlier, 'Advises' is correct, the verb; 'Advices' is the noun form.
  • by Sarah on Sep 23, 2010 at 09:51 AM
    BBB Advices or BBB Advises? Nice proof reading on the headline there.
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