Suggestions for Protecting Yourself Online
  • Use extreme caution in dealing with persons from foreign countries or even out of the local Washington D.C. area. Fake cashier’s checks, personal checks, wire transfers, and money orders are often used in an attempt to gain goods without payment. We recommend that you do not accept foreign checks, wire transfers, or money orders.
  • Ensure the authenticity of personal or cashier’s checks and money orders. If you have concerns about the validity of a check, contact the issuing bank to determine whether the account is real. Never ship merchandise to a buyer until the check is accepted by your bank.
  • Never agree to accept overpayment for any item and refund the difference to the buyer. A situation where the buyer requests you take a check or other form of payment in amount greater than the price of the merchandise and then give the buyer the difference is an attempt to defraud you. The payment will be fraudulent and you will lose the merchandise and your money.
  • Never give out your personal or financial information to a potential buyer. This includes your social security number, bank account information, credit card or check card information, usernames, or passwords.
  • Learn more about the methods scammers use to attempt to defraud you and learn to protect your computer and financial information at the Federal Trade Commission’s website:
  • If you encounter what you believe to be a scam on, you may notify the following:
  • The Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP or by email at