Trading Online: Ten Tips to Stay Safe!

The internet has provided a great tool for the successful buying and selling of cranes, forklift trucks, excavators and all types of industrial assets. Though despite the profitable potential of selling your item, or the chances of bagging a bargain when purchasing online, it is worth bearing in mind that there are scammers out to con traders. We have compiled ten tips to help to make sure your details stay safe when trading online and how to help steer clear of money-making scams.

1.The Safety of Servers:

Check that the site you are dealing with, particularly during transactions when entering card or account details surrounding the sale of the industrial asset, offers a secure and/or encrypted server.

2.Successfully Log Out:

When using a public computer, for example in a workplace or a Public Library, ensure that you log out properly, particularly at the end of the transaction. This is a practice which may also be beneficial on a private computer or laptop, to ensure your details remain personal.

3.Credit card protection:

When paying by credit card for an item, your credit card provider may offer certain policies regarding security protection on online trading. Card providers offer such security services as part of an obligatory package, or at an extra fee.

4.Unidentified e-mail addresses:

Bear in mind that e-mail addresses from general domain names in enquiries surrounding the sale of your item, such as [email protected] or [email protected] do not necessitate proof of identity to obtain, and therefore could be practically untraceable to an individual. Without further confirmation from the sender, such e-mails should not be accepted as a valid identity.

5.Wire transfers:

You should never make a payment to someone you don’t know via a wire or telegraphic transfer, through, for example, companies such as Western Union, this is because such facilities do not offer traceable payments as they are designed with sending money to family and friends in mind.

6.Learn how to read your emails for scams:

Not all junk mail filters are effective in sifting e-mails from scammers away from your legitimate e-mails. A number of things should be considered when deciding the legitimacy of an e-mail. For example, the e-mail address, if it is unknown to the recipient or from a standard domain name which does not require proof of I.D. to obtain, as well as the content of the message, if this should appear to be a generic e-mail sent out to many recipients in the hope a scam will prove fruitful. A fraudulent e-mail may not refer specifically to your item. For instance, should you be selling a forklift, does the e-mail refer to your item, or more broadly, ‘your vehicle’, or incorrectly, for example, ‘your dump truck’? Be cautious of e-mails that offer to buy a forklift without having first seen the condition or e-mails which have varying levels of grammar and punctuation. Some scammers may send out a generic e-mail to prompt your reply, but will then have to construct later correspondence themselves.

7.Trust your judgement!

Trading on the internet offers the potential to snap up a worthy bargain, or when selling, to provide a profitable encounter, but a level of caution should be maintained surrounding deals which seem just too good to be true.

8.Request a fixed mobile or landline phone number:

Phone numbers beginning with the prefix; ‘070’ may appear to be international or mobile numbers, but they are actually personal numbers which act as routers for calls to the owner’s choice of number. These are used by genuine traders of items, but because they are potentially harder to trace they have become a key tool of scammers. When dealing with such numbers, it is worth requesting a fixed landline or mobile number to help ensure correspondence with a genuine trading partner, rather than a scammer.

9.Don’t be pushed into purchases

Scammers may attempt to threaten or emotionally blackmail traders online. It is important that you should never feel threatened in an online environment, or pushed into completing a trade if you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the transaction; especially if you are the subject of threatening behaviour.

10.Cheques are traceable, but can also be reclaimed:

Cheques are traceable as a payment method, allowing a certain level of peace of mind when having purchased an item from a trader but it is not often discussed that they are also subject to being reclaimed by the payer, up to years after the cheque has ‘cleared’ into your account, if the cheque has been fraudulent or stolen. A number of scams can arise from cheque payments. For example, they may be used in an ‘overpayment scam’, in which after sending the cheque, the money is requested to be returned via a wire transfer, again, difficult to trace, and very importantly, leaving the seller at a monetary loss.

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