The issue of Internet scams is very complex, and if you want to protect yourself from them, then you also need to be well informed. Even though the type of scams I want to write about are not directly related to blogging, every Internet user is going to encounter at least some of them during his life. I also think that any person who wants to be a webmaster should really be well informed about such issues – it will save you a lot of money and time. This time I would like to discuss a so called “Second Chance Offer” scam that people fall for every year.
Let us assume that you are visiting a popular online auctions website like eBay, and you bid on an expensive item that you really want to have. Then you notice that the item was not sold because it did not meet the reserve price. Later, you are contacted about a “second chance offer” from the seller, who agrees to sell you the item for the price you were willing to pay. The catch is that he asks for a payment/deposit before he sends the item, and guess what? He never sends the item. There are 2 explanations for this:
- Since you bought the item outside of eBay or any other auction site, you are not protected by the auction site at all. The seller will not receive a negative feedback, and there is probably little you can do.
- Since you bought the item outside of the auction site, there is a big probability that the person who received the money is not even the real seller! He might have used a similar email address as the real seller or some other means to fool you.
Some people look for really attractive offers on eBay, and later plan to resell them for a higher price. If you are considering earning some additional money this way, beware of all of the scammers. On the other hand, if you buy an item from a reputable seller you are being protected pretty well, so don’t start panicking.