Fraud against consumers is not unique to the internet. Fraudulent business practices have been the cause of millions of lost dollars throughout history. Online auction sites have the highest incidence of complaints by consumers, each alleging one type of fraud or another. The simplest form of fraud regarding online auctions is for sellers to advertise top-quality items for sale, and upon receiving the items consumers discover that the items are not of the quality advertised, or consumers never receive anything at all after paying for the items.
There is also a high instance of fraud for offers promising you can work from home and make thousands of dollars very quickly. Consumers are generally required to send money in advance, which can range from $25 to hundreds of dollars, and the information they get in return is of no value at all, or requires an investment of thousands of dollars. Quick divorces are often used as a means of getting fast money from computer users. These web sites offer a fast, and in some cases immediate, divorce in a foreign country. Consumers have paid thousands of dollars for the divorces, only to find that they were never divorced at all.
When shopping online or participating in online auctions, make sure the site owners have the proper credentials, are well-known in the internet community, and have a system in place to rate buyers and sellers in online auctions. Be very cautious of online auctions offering rare or collectible items. Sellers should be able to provide you with some form of authenticity verification on any item they wish to auction. Consumers should shop online from companies that have actual locations rather than just web sites alone. Make sure you check feedback and for individuals conducting online auctions and that the e-stores you shop are an extension of a well-known retailer. It is also a good idea to make online purchases with your credit card so that you will have a way to trace any transactions you make.