Safe buying-and-selling on social networks


* Do not entertain listings that have:

- No voicemail capability

- Multiple phone numbers

- Multiple names/aliases

* Type the phone number into the social network's search bar. See if others have reported scams in connection with that number.

* Insist on meeting at a neutral, public location. If it is a large item that must be displayed at the seller's residence, take someone with you. If it is an appliance, electronics, or something that would carry a warranty if it were new, consider having an expert inspect it before purchase.

* If the seller insists on meeting at a listed address, research the location. Never meet or buy at a storage facility or other venue where you cannot plug something in to test it. Don't pay anything until you've tested the item.

* Go early. Scope out the location. If anything appears sketchy, cancel the transaction.


* Don't post your address. Insist on a neutral location for the transaction.

* Only use your home if you're selling a large item. Use your garage, driveway or carport, and keep the house locked.

* Beware responses that offer to pay more than your list price up-front by mailing a check or money order. Those are attempts to forward counterfeit payments in order to access your bank account.

(Sources:  Andy Wilson, Certified Fraud Examiner/Investigator, Wilson & Turner Investigative Consultants, Memphis)

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