Ten Tips for Trading Safely on the Internet
Internet trading has exploded in popularity over recent years, and although it is tempting to revel in its variety and choice of products, it is integral to stay safe when trading online. 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.Encrypted or Secure Servers:Ensure that the site you are dealing with, particularly when entering card or account details surrounding the sale of the an industrial asset such as trucks, offers a secure server.
2.Log Out Successfully:Especially when using a public computer, for example in an Internet Cafe or a Public Library, ensure that you log out properly, particularly at the end of the transactions.
3.Credit cards:When paying by credit card, it can be worth checking out the policies of the card provider regarding additional security. Some cards offer such services as part of an obligatory package, or at an extra fee.
4.Be wary of e-mails:Bear in mind that e-mail addresses from many general domain names in enquiries surrounding the sale of say your forklift truck, such as hotmail.com or yahoo.co.uk do not require proof of identity to obtain, and therefore could be practically untraceable. Without further confirmation, 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:Unfortunately, not all junk mail filters can effectively sift e-mails from scammers from your legitimate e-mails. It is worth bearing in mind a number of things when analysing the legitimacy of an e-mail. For example, the e-mail address, if it is unknown or from a standard domain name which does not require proof of I.D. to obtain, as well as the content of the message, does this appear to be generic e-mail sent out to many recipients in the hope a scam will prove fruitful? Does the e-mail refer specifically to your item? For example, if you are selling a crane, does the e-mail refer to your item, or more broadly, ‘your vehicle’, or incorrectly, for example, ‘your forklitf’? Be wary of e-mails that offer to buy a forklift without having first viewed the condition, or e-mails which have differing standards of grammar and punctuation (for example, some scammers may send out a generic e-mail to prompt your reply, but will then have to construct later correspondence themselves).
7.Is it too good to be true?This is not to say that trading on the internet does not offer the potential to snap up a worthy bargain, or when selling, that it can be a profitable experience, but you should maintain a level of caution surrounding deals which seem too good to be true.
8.‘070’ telephone numbers:Although at first encounter they may appear to be international or mobile phone numbers, ‘070’ numbers are actually personal numbers which act as routers for calls to the owner’s choice of number. Although these can be used by genuine traders, of trucks for example, they are potentially harder to trace, and therefore a key tool of scammers. Seek a fixed mobile or landline number to increase the likelihood of a genuine transaction.
9.Don’t be threatened online:The possibility of scammers to attempt to threaten or emotionally blackmail you online cannot be ignored. You should not be threatened or pushed into completing a trade if you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the transaction; especially should you be the subject of threatening behaviour.
10.Cheques are traceable, but can also be reclaimed:Although, as a payment method cheques are traceable, allowing a certain level of peace of mind when having purchased a industrial asset from a trader, they are also subject to being reclaimed years after the cheque has ‘cleared’ into your account, should the cheque have been fraudulent or stolen. A number of scams can arise from this, for example, you may find that this will be referred to as an ‘overpayment scam’, in which after sending the cheque, the money is requested to be sent via a wire transfer, again, difficult to trace, and importantly, leaving you out-of-pocket.