Shieldpay stories

Here's how you don't get scrooged by online fraudsters in the post Christmas sales

The Christmas spirit is all about giving, but this mother-of-two in Devon insists that her husband is the worst Christmas present buyer ever. Some of his best work includes gifting paracetamol, bin bags and the common washing peg.

My Uncle would give him a run for his money. One Christmas, after flying from London to Hamburg to visit him, he gifted me a 12kg bird bath. Not really the light gift I was hoping to slip into my carry on for the flight back. Not to mention I live in a small one bed flat in London. No balcony, no outdoor area, absolutely no birds about, and defintiely no room for a bird bath.

That said, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without receiving a questionable and either super practical, or in my case impractical, gift.  At least these days rather than stowing unwanted gifts in a corner cupboard, there’s an easy way to re-purpose them by selling them across any of the many online marketplaces – Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Shpock, eBay. One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.

But after falling victim to the disappointment of another questionable gift, the last thing you need is to fall victim to online fraudsters. Whether you’re selling an unwanted gift, or trying to find a Boxing Day bargain online, here are a few red flags to be wary of:

When you’re asked to take the conversation off platform

Gumtree research shows 15% of fraudsters try to contact you directly to take you off the platform messenger or recommended way of communicating so that it’s harder to prove what has happened throughout the transaction and resolve any type of dispute.

When you’re pressured to rush the transaction

This is classic fraudster behaviour, used to distract you so that you’re too flustered to notice other warnings signs that indicate something’s not quite right.

When they're to-ing and fro-ing between payment methods

Always be weary of someone that’s starts off suggesting one payment method, then changes to another, and another. Again, they’re doing this to confuse you so you’re caught off guard and don’t the notice other warning signs.

Be wary of the payment options that expose you to fraud

The risk of giving your bank details to a stranger aside, almost all payment options expose you to a level of fraud and leave you stuck in the classic buyer-seller stand-off.

Fraudulent buyers will try to get sellers to hand over an item before payment, leaving you to hope that they actually follow through.

Fraudulent sellers will try to finalise payment before showing or sending the item, and avoid meeting face-to-face. Neither side has the confidence to kick-off the transaction, for fear the other will rip them off in some way.

Here’s where escrow comes in handy - a secure payment method that gives peace of mind to both buyer and seller. Funds are securely in a third-party account, and only released when both sides agree they’re happy with how the transactions taken place.

With Shieldpay, you’re in good hands, and with these red flags in mind, you can rest easy. 

Sell off that vintage collection of commemorative stamps that you don’t really care for, or pick up a new pair of Beats off Marketplace. All with the confidence that you won't get ripped off so you can get back to polishing off what's left of the left overs.



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