How To Avoid Being Scammed In The Online Marketplace - LIFESTYLE

Jeanann Grubbs Written by Jeanann Grubbs
Last Updated: 1/3/2021
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How To Avoid Being Scammed In The Online Marketplace

There are so many quick ways to make money nowadays. Before high-tech marketplace apps and websites like Craigslist, Offer Up, Poshmark, The Real Real, and Facebook MarketPlace were around, people were only using garage sales to make some extra cash on items they no longer needed. But, garage sales are so much work. To have a successful garage sale, you have to advertise with posters, paints, and sharpies, taking up time and effort. After that, you walk around town and place the signs up, then wake up early, have everything placed outside and sit in your driveway hoping people will show up so you can make a few extra bucks.

Online And App Marketplaces

Nowadays, people have the luxury of staying in their homes and selling their goods to people without ever stepping outside. Poshmark, for example, makes it easy to buy and sell clothes. You create an online profile, and viola, you can start trading and selling. You can either sell locally or worldwide, entirely your choice. OfferUp is also a great app to use when selling items you no longer want. You can sell just about anything on this app. I've used OfferUp to sell a motorcycle, a turtle tank, a bike, gardening pots, and more. All of my items sold within a day, no matter the price or the condition. You can provide a profile picture on this app that can be your actual face or an avatar - this helps protect your identity if you do not want to share it.

Once someone likes the item you are selling, they can directly message you through the app, asking if it is still available. From there, the potential buyer can bargain with you (tips on bargaining). I have had a couple of experiences where some people offered a higher price than I asked. I first found this strange, but I later realized that buyers do that to ensure they are at better odds of getting the item. Accounts on these online marketplace apps can also be verified by how many purchases they have completed, how many sales they have performed, and how fast and friendly they are.

However, here is the big "BUT" - you won't always get verified users asking to purchase your items, and meeting an unverified user in person can be a bit frightening. And sometimes, the people trying to “buy” your items are scammers.

Online Scams

Unfortunately, online scams are on the rise as these new online markets gain more in popularity. Online scammers victimize people for several reasons (Button, Nicholls, Kerr, & Owen, 2014), and scammers take advantage of people's good nature - the fact that most of us look for and expect the best in others. This increased trust in strangers can sometimes place well-intentioned sellers in harm's way. The truth is, trusting someone online that you have never met can be risky. Be smart, especially when there is money involved. You can always be kind to strangers while also having your guard up.

Another reason why scams happen often is that the seller's mind usually focuses on the transaction - the cash reward - rather than the potential dangers of online selling (Button, Nicholls, Kerr, & Owen, 2014). That's why it is critical not to feel rushed when selling an item and take the time to research the buyer. I know someone who recently met a buyer for his bike online. They met at a coffee shop, and everything seemed perfectly normal. The buyer asked to take the bike for a spin and never came back! The phone and address provided by the buyer turned out to be completely bogus - of course!

So what can you do? Well, the great news is that advanced people search engines like GladiKnow allow you to quickly find out the truth on just about anyone in the U.S. How does it work? Type in the buyer's first and last name and location into GladiKnow's advanced search engine. Then you will get the full picture of him or her BEFORE you allow them around yourself and your loved ones.

The advanced search engine will search over 600 million public records, both online and offline, including home addresses, criminal records, and much more. You can then see if there is a match between the information you know to be true with the buyer’s story.

Another excellent way to avoid being scammed is by being cautious with how you receive your payment for your online sale. There are many ways you can collect your money when it comes to online transactions. Some people prefer to be paid in cash if the buyer is nearby, but that is not the case for all sales. Often you will have to resort to using Paypal or Venmo to complete transactions. Below will teach you how to protect yourself when sending money on Venmo or Paypal.

How To Verify Someone Before Transferring Money On Venmo Or Paypal

Again, Venmo and Paypal are great for sending and receiving money between people you already know. What about using the help of the app Venmo or Paypal to pay a person you don't know or don't know very well? Is it safe? Scammers will sometimes pretend to pay you for something through a mobile app by using a stolen credit card. To make sure you are sending or receiving money from the correct person, you can use advanced people search technology to immediately and confidentially verify the buyer and or seller and double-check if who they say they are is real. It's simple, highly effective, and inexpensive.

Here's how it works: New, advanced people search engines will give you instant and confidential access to nearly a BILLION public reports on any person in the U.S.

  1. Ask the person online (in this case, your counterpart on Venmo or Paypal, but it could be anyone you would like to confirm) for their name and location (city and state) or their address (both will work).
  2. Go to and input the buyer or seller's name and location (or address) into GladiKnow's confidential people search engine. From there, you will instantly get a confidential report on the person. This report will include a search for that person's actual age, home addresses and address history, emails, phones, relatives, employment history, education history, social media profiles, criminal records, sex offender records, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, civil records, traffic and infraction records, licenses, permits, and much more.
  3. Then COMPARE! Ask him or her about where they have lived, their age, employment, and education background, family, email addresses and phone numbers, or any bit of information you choose from the report in front of you.

If the buyer or seller is a scammer, they will certainly not give you real data to reveal their actual identity. If this is the case, you will immediately see a mismatch between what they tell you and what you know to be true from their report. Congrats, you have just revealed a scammer!

And of course, this process works great in ANY circumstance where you want to learn more or the truth about someone, from online dating to roommates and neighbors, to new friends or romantic interests - the list goes on!

For more information on the new, advanced people search engines, check out this great video.


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