Buyer Safety Guide
iOffer promotes a safe shopping experience with the following tips, online fraud resources, and security features:
iOffer Scam and Fraud Prevention
Check Ratings - The rating number next to all usernames contain feedback ratings left by both buyers and sellers. Review the rating chart and the seller's past transaction history. Evaluate the positive, negative, and neutral ratings.
Review Feedback - Read the comments left by other buyers. View item detail pages to 'get the whole story', since pre- and post-transaction communication are publicly displayed.
Ask Questions - Ask as many questions as you want before committing to a purchase. If you don't get a response, are not satisfied with the response, or still feeling uncomfortable, take your business to a different seller.
Avoid Counterfeits - Read the full item description and fine print. Beware of knock-off, counterfeit, reproduction, boot-leg, or fake items. When in doubt, ask for authentication.
Cash/Wire Transfers - DO NOT complete any purchases or send any payments via Western Union or direct bank/wire transfer. Be cautious of sellers requesting cash or bank wire transfer payments.
PayPal - If PayPal is offered, ask the seller to identify their PayPal account type and seller reputation number. For international sellers, make sure PayPal is accepted in their country. See PayPal Help for more information.
Credit Card - Most credit card companies offer consumer protection for purchases made online. However, this may not apply to debit cards. If you pay with a credit card, review the terms of your credit provider’s user agreement to ensure protection.
Escrow - Escrow services act as the middleman for high priced items, holding the buyer's payment (vs. buyer sending payment to seller) until item receipt and condition is confirmed. Beware of fraudulent escrow services.
Fraudulent Emails & Websites - Never respond to an email requesting account or credit card information (phishing). Do not enter sensitive information onto a spoof website.
Always check the URL. Secure pages that ask for your personal information should begin with https: and look for the lock icon on the bottom of the browser.
Off-Site Trading - If you purchase items outside of iOffer, you will not have access to our security features. Make sure you complete purchases and make payments through iOffer.
Documentation - iOffer retains transaction communication on item detail pages. However, post transaction emails, shipping notifications, payment receipts, and other information may not be documented. Save copies of these documents in case issues arise.
Payment Methods - For further information on payment methods, visit our Buyer Payment Guide
Shipping Charges - Reputable sellers include reasonable shipping and handling charges. Avoid unreasonable shipping and handling charges.
Insurance - If you want insurance, make sure it's available or included in the shipping costs.
Tracking - Tracking confirms the shipment of an item. Some carriers include this feature and others you must purchase. Obtain the tracking number if you use it.
How to report fraud or scam attempts?
FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC (http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/scam-watch/file-a-complaint.shtm)
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
FTC online complaint form (https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/)
Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
Competition Bureau Canada: 800-348-5358
Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
Anti-Phishing Working Group (www.anti-phishing.org)
Software Piracy (http://www.siia.net/piracy/report.asp)
Non-emergency number for local law enforcement (both Buyer’s and Seller’s area)
iOffer Security Features
CARNIVORE - A proprietary suite of fraud prevention tools used successfully since July 2002. It works 'behind the scenes' to identify fraudulent listings before impacting buyers.
Suggestions on how iOffer can improve buyer safety? Drop us a note in our Suggestion Box.