The Many Ways You Can Be Scammed When Selling Your Items Online

The convenience of the Internet has allowed us to access networks that we otherwise could never have, but it also means that we are exposing ourselves to those with evil intentions. In particular, when you post your email address or phone number on online shopping sites, you become a target for scammers.

I put my 10 year old Corolla up for sale at the end of this summer to take advantage of the hot used car market. I have posted on the Facebook marketplace, OfferUp, Craiglist and other online sites. Almost immediately I was bombarded with offers for my car. The only problem was that most of them were scammers trying to steal my identity .

If you haven’t tried selling anything online lately, you might be caught off guard by the sheer volume and new tactics scammers are using to steal your identity today. Here are some of the ones I have come across.

Technique “I’m not fake, you’re fake”

The scammers will try to “verify” that you are real by convincing you that the only way to do this is to send them a digital code, which they then use to gain control of your number. From there, they can reset any of your passwords as long as they know your username. They can also scam your contacts or “sell” things under your name without you even knowing it’s happening.

They will play with your emotions

They know that you are trying to sell your car quickly to take advantage of the low stock of used cars, so they will pretend to be “very interested”. You might be tempted to believe that all these people really want to buy your car because you’ve been using synthetic oil since your first oil change, but you’re just another target for these scammers looking for their next victim. Approach every interaction on the Internet with skepticism. Some will say they have the money “on hand” and can meet you “right now” but they just need you to send that verification number first. Do not do that.

All fair game

They will come not only for your car, but also for your mail. Keep in mind that by posting your number online, you will be a target for many different things. I received messages and calls at least every hour. I received pictures of “single single women” in my area, cryptographic “insider” secrets, and messages asking for donations to the war in Ukraine. But they all had one thing in common: they had a distracting or disturbing message followed by a link that would ask you for information. Don’t click on it.


Never send a verification code to anyone. There is no reason why anyone would need verification from you, unless it’s a website where you have two-factor verification set up. Your bank, IRS, or a lone lone person in your area should never ask you for the verification code they send you. If they do, it’s just a scam.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *