What’s the safest way to sell an item to someone I don’t know?
Selling items on popular sites like eBay, Craigslist, and LetGo can be a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make a little money in the process. Unfortunately, there are also lots of opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage of you during the sale. Here are a few tips to help you sell safely and avoid fraud or theft:
- If the buyer tries to pay more than the agreed upon price and requests part of the proceeds be returned, do not proceed with the transaction. This is the most common type of private-party sales fraud.
- Meet the buyer at their bank and conduct the transfer within the safety of the branch office. Some thieves using online marketplaces have been known to steal the item they are purchasing when meeting in person so use caution at all times.
- Request online payment via PayPal. PayPal allows an arm’s-length transaction and does not require you to provide your personal banking information to the buyer.
- If you receive a cashier’s check (or any check) in the mail, take it to the paying financial institution to receive payment. If you deposit it at your own financial institution it could be returned weeks or months later when discovered by the true account owner. The funds would then be reversed from your account and you would experience a financial loss.
- Request funds in cash. Always meet the buyer in a safe place, such as your nearest RCU office. Deposit the cash with a teller who can inspect the bills for authenticity.
Always remember to use caution when doing business with someone you don’t know.