Ten Tips for Scam Protection:
- always be alert – scammers can target you anytime, anywhere, anyhow
- never respond – ignore suspicious emails, calls or messages – delete or hang up
- never agree immediately – research, get independent advice and a written offer
- know who you’re talking to – scammers pose as orgnaisations we know and trust
- be especially alert to the emotional approach and the personal touch
- keep computers secure – update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spy software
- use secure payment services – look for URLs with ‘https’ and closed padlocks
- never send money to someone you don’t know and trust – recovery is rare
- protect your identity – personal details are private – keep them that way
- spread the word – report a scam to SCAMwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au
The Australian Government has great resources for staying safe online:
Watch Out for these Common Scams:
You’re asked to provide payment in advance of receiving goods or money. This is known as advance fee fraud and is the most common scam around. It includes any scam where you’re asked for fees upfront, or personal information in return for goods, services, money or rewards that are never supplied. Scammers use seemingly legitimate reasons for requesting payment, such as cover fees or taxes. And they often ask for payment via international wire transfer. ArtSelect strongly recommends sellers always personally and independently verify payment with their financial institution or online payment provider (eg. PayPal). You should also do a quick search using the exact wording of the offer to see if it’s legitimate. Many scams can be identified like this.
Buyers will claim to be from overseas or interstate, and will offer to pay more than the asking price for your artwork. This is known as the online classifieds scam and it targets both buyers and sellers.
For sellers, the scammer will respond to your advertisement with a generous offer. If you accept, payment will be made by cheque or money order. However, the amount you receive is more than the agreed price. The scammer will then tell you overpayment was a mistake and will ask you to refund the excess amount by money transfer. He hopes that you will transfer the money before you discover the cheque has bounced or the money order was a hoax. You then lose the money as well as the item sold. Never send an item before receiving money. You may be sent fake PayPal receipts trying to prove they've deposited funds in your account. Ignore these and login to check if funds really are there.
For buyers, be aware of scammers who post fake ads for artworks, often ones that are cheaply priced. If you show any interest in an item, the scammer will claim he is travelling or has moved overseas, but an agent will deliver the goods on receipt of payment. If you do pay, you will not receive the goods or be able to contact the seller.
Phishing scams are a popular method used to gain your financial details. Scammers send emails or SMS messages that appear to be from your bank, financial institution or online payment service. They usually claim there is a problem with your account and request that you verify your details on a fake but convincing copy of the bank’s website. If in doubt, check the web address is correct and the site is not a fake. Scammers have realised that one of the best ways to fool you is to make it personal. Personal details are the key to making a scam appear legitimate as they are tailored for you as an individual.
Golden Rules for Staying Safe and Trading Safe:
- Whether you’re buying or selling, you should meet with the other person and see the work before money is exchanged. Take someone with you if it’s a meeting, or have someone with you if a buyer is coming to your home or workplace.
- Never send artwork before receiving the money. Do not mail a cheque or use international payment services to pay for artworks found on ArtSelect.
- Inspect the item before agreeing to a sale. Make sure the work is as it was described in the listing and any defects are known before money changes hands.
Report Dodgy Advertising
If you receive any suspicious communication, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Provide us with as much detail as possible and we will investigate. ArtSelect is a community site and as such, we rely on your feedback to keep it friendly and safe. We are also a local classifieds site so if possible, try to deal with the other party face to face. Ensuring that all transactions take place in-person is your best protection. Remember, ArtSelect doesn’t have any verification or protection services for all buyers and all sellers. Use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!