Fraud Prevention: Don't fall victim to a scam

"Buyer (and Seller) Beware" is an adage that we would all do well to keep in mind when we look for a deal on the internet.

Fraud is an ever-present issue online. We at take the safety of all buyers and sellers seriously. That is why we have instituted fraud detection tools for all sellers to help ensure that the inventory listed on our site is being sold by a legitimate seller. However, even the best of tools can be evaded and beaten by a determined thief. That is why it is imperative you are diligent, do your research, and protect yourself and your hard-earned money from fraud.

For the safest transactions enlist the help of a known, licensed escrow agent. This can often be arranged by your bank to ensure that you are not accidentally handing your money to a fraudulent online seller protection service.

Should you choose to handle the transaction yourself the information we provide here may help you to avoid becoming the victim of theft.

Physical inspection prior to sending any money

This is probably the easiest way to detect a fraudulent transaction. Arrange to go see the item being offered for sale. If the seller will not arrange an inspection, or is difficult to pin down on a time or place, or worse, demands money up front before they will allow an inspection, then it is likely fraud. Do not send them money. In this situation ask yourself: Why would a legitimate seller make it difficult for someone trying to buy their inventory? The answer is: They wouldn't.

Legitimate sellers want to sell their inventory and they want to protect themselves too. Seeing the buyer and having face to face contact with them or their representative protects the buyer and the seller.

It is extremely important that you treat this online transaction like you would any other in person transaction. Go see the equipment for sale and verify the "What", "Where", and "Who" before you even arrange any money.

Use known online resources to verify the item for sale

There are several options. The best option we have found for verifying ownership and lefitimacy of an item for sale is The National Equipment Register ( is a recommended resource for verifying VIN and Serial Numbers on major equipment and attachments. Please visit for more information on how to protect yourself against buying stolen equipment, or fraudulently represented for sale items. is affiliated with insurance companies and works with them to prevent theft and fraud.

Finally, if you are not able to go see a piece of equipment, use a licensed appraiser or inspector to verify that the equipment for sale is legitimately for sale and is what the seller says it is. This small expense can save you tens of thousands of dollars that would needlessly be lost if the seller is fraudulent.

Use a legitimate escrow service is not affiliated with any escrow services, so if someone tells you they are our recommended or "partner" escrow service please know this is not true.

Using a licensed escrow service will help both the buyer and the seller carry out an online transaction where both parties are protected.

Contact your bank for more information about how to set up escrow. Many banks provide this type of service for their clients free of charge or for a nominal fee. If your bank does not provide this type of service, often they can point you to a legitimate online escrow company who can protect the transaction.

If the seller states that they cannot work with your chosen escrow company or says there are "account issues" with their login or access to the escrow company go to your bank for a resolution. Do not wire money to a secondary escrow account, as this too may be a scam. Always get confirmation from YOUR bank or trusted source that an escrow company is legitimate.

Email fraud

Email fraud is increasing worldwide as thieves realize they can make money by scamming honest people.

It's not just the thief pretending to have a legitimate item for sale. They are also becoming sophisticated enough to pretend to be a legitimate company that you may otherwise trust (such as a bank, manufacturer or known dealer). Do not validate or confirm personal information with people you do not know and already trust online. If you are asked for this information request a telephone number, full name of a contact and the branch or location they work at. Then do not call them back or email them at the phone, email provided, website, or link provided. Instead find the publicly available contact phone numbers for the company and call to verify the person and information you were provided and ask how that company requests and verify's personal information. Often the information the thief provides looks legitimate, but it is a trap to fool you into giving up the information they need to steal from you.

If you suspect that you have received such an email from, please call our telephone support team at 1-800-493-2295.

For more information

For more information and details about your rights please visit the US Federal Government's website run by the Federal Trade Commission,, as well as the Financial Fraud Enforcement's website,