Selling online has become one of the many ways individuals now make full time income. However the risk of being scammed is very high especially if you sell directly on platforms like eBay, Craiglist and Gumtree.
One reason is that most of these buyers out there specify payment by PayPal, and you will think, WHY NOT? because PayPal goes straight into your Bank account, and that does not pose any big threat. Also because PayPal is owned by eBay, it gives you a further discount if you pay by PayPal.
The problem is that it is easier to dispute a payment via PayPal, and PayPal will always give first consideration to the payee, making you the seller loose out in most disputes. It works like this: you list your product, say a laptop on eBay for sale, and a buyer will contact you to say because of the weight, he will be prepared to collect at a designated place. Meanwhile he will pay you the amount via PayPal. The authorisation is then made. You check your account, and pronto the money is there. After collecting the item, the person who owns the account that the payment came from will now dispute the sale, (remember payment via PayPal can come from a hacked account). PayPal then deduct the amount from your account, and that HOW you are being scammed.
So what can you do to prevent this type of scam? The best way is to courier all you sales by recorded delivery. You might be this might be a bit expensive, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have a proof of posting like this, you will always be paid for all your online sales.
Watch your back
Scams are all over the internet these days, and it will be silly to think that it is specific to a type of payment, indeed it is all over in e-mails, social media sites, credit/debit cards payments, bank transfers and so on and so forth. Read the full report here in ScamWatch.