Whether you have an online store, a listing on Craigslist or Ebay, be prepared to be visited by a Scammer, especially if you have a high priced item.
You might receive an email that is unassuming and honest. This person wants to pay you by check or money order and could arrange for their own shipping. Wow! This could save you money and time. All you have to do is supply this person with your contact information including name and address for the pickup. RED FLAG! This is a classic scam in the making.
By now, most of us are in the know about the internet scams from Nigeria (Nigerian 419 scam), or the wire transfer scams on Ebay, but do you know there is a mail order check fraud scam from Ohio?
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
The check fraud scam starts by you accepting this buyer's offer to receive a check or money order for the product. Their email address looks legitimate.. They may be in the guise of a woman who lives in Ohio. They also make an offer to pickup the product at their own expense. Your contact information is required for this to be completed.
Checks and money orders go through the regular banking system BUT, they do not always clear right away. However, you are still entitled to a portion of the funds before it actually clears. Everything may "appear" legitimate when you make the deposit. You contact the buyer once the check or money order is deposited and no red flags are issued by the bank.
Your product is picked up. You think you got paid...BUT INSTEAD, you GOT SCAMMED! Your bank bounces back the check or money order. Any money you withdrew on the portion of the deposit is now OWED BACK to the bank. The Scammer has your product, your contact information and you have NOTHING!
HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?
Banks do not clear out of state checks right away. A portion of whatever you deposited is available for immediate use or withdrawal. The Scammer is betting on the fact that you do not suspect anything foul. Even if the bank checks the routing and account number, it could be a legitimate check.
TIME is on the Scammer's side. They take the opportunity from the "lag time" for the check to clear to perpetrate the fraud. Sometimes, it is NOT about the product but about obtaining your personal information. Either way, you are screwed!
HOW TO OUT-SMART A SCAMMER
Legitimate sellers have become a growing target. For this reason, it is better never to go outside a selling system such as Ebay, PayPal or Amazon. On Craigslist, the scams are more prevalent with very little protection provided for the seller. Most transactions are completed in person but do you really want a stranger to know where you live?
If you have an ECommerce store, create a safer purchase transaction environment by adding a Google or PayPal shopping cart to your site. Both Google and PayPal provide safety measures for BOTH the seller and buyer, thus limiting the scams that could be potentially damaging.
Be safe in 2013 through awareness:
Verification and validation are major flaws that prevent perfectly intelligent entrepreneurs from taking flight.
Capitalizing on this need to be validated, the "Self Help" industry has seen an influx of mediocre "experts" flood the marketplace with equally substandard products.
Validation is a key component in human connectivity. Verification and validation is the process of products and services meeting the needs of its users. This is also known as recognition in the context of Human Resources. Award shows such as the Golden Globes, The Oscars and the Grammy's cater to this process of recognizing a job well done.
For most of the workforce, verification and validation of a job well done comes in the form of promotions and bonuses. Service awards are presented for milestones, achievements and accomplishments.
For the entrepreneur, it is all about the numbers game. This could be defined by monetary gain, Tweeter followers, likes on Facebook and the number of comments posted on social media sites. The numbers game is critical for the psyche of the entrepreneur. It is verification, validation and recognition that they have arrived. Unfortunately, the vicious cycle continues to keep up with the "lie" since Social Media is a "False/Positive."
Social Media is a forum for self expression. It is not a physical realm, yet most well-intended entrepreneurs are trapped there instead of working their business. Unless you are Mari Smith whose business IS social media, majority of time should be spent doing "real work" in the "real world."
The backlash to this is the argument that social media is great marketing and reaches a broader audience. Point well taken. However, "Where attention goes, energy flows, results show." Greatness requires enormous time. Genius takes work. In Malcolm Gladwell's book, "The OUtliers," he offers up the 10,000 hours rule for highly successful people. He cites Bill Gates, the Beatles and Robert Oppenheimer.
Entrepreneurs spend a great deal of time looking for answers when, in fact, they already have the answers. The "Self Help" industry and the so-called "Experts" who hunt for prey do more harm than good. They offer "false hope" landing pages, give away freebies borrowed from other sites, and create "Halo-effect" testimonials. Do not fall into their traps!
HAPPY 2013! This is the year to change habits...yet AGAIN. Every year, we see the same resolutions...BUT WHY??? Why do we have a habit of complicating life? Where does this need to create hardship in one's existent come from?
We all have the will to change who we are and what we are, yet why don't we? Instead of looking within, we expense for "experts" to bail us out and to give our life meaning...BUT WHY?
In 2002, the Dali Lama visited UCLA. One member of the audience asked, "Sir, what is the meaning of life?" The Dali Lama reflected and with all his wisdom and humour, responded with a smile, "How should I know?"
The point here is no one has the answers, but we keep searching. Society has made the "Self help" industry VERY rich with estimated sales in excess of $1 billion.
We exhaust monetary resources on luncheons, seminars and workshops that help little to move ideas forward. A few months later, that clock is restarted. Did the message change? NO! But how many times have you tuned in to the same information, over and over and over again? Is it not time to stop the vicious cycle?
There is nothing wrong with collecting useful information as resources and good reads. At Gabrielle Bourne Productions (GBP), we enjoy business, technology, innovation and finance. Others might like cooking, pets and biographies. Maybe DIY is your thing.
In 2013, TAP your own resources...unlock your brain, find your passion and create purpose.
Here is our "Secret" to life:
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