Get their land line telephone number and call them on it so you know it's good. 411.com will let you do a reverse search on a telephone number to get the matching address. Now you know you aren't talking to a disposable cellphone, and you also know that a utility company has them on file.
Calling script: "Hello, May I please speak with Mr Sanders?" (Always ask for the name on the payment you have received.) If a child has logged onto their parents account for the purchase, they have probably not changed the name. If the child does not know who is calling, they will hand the phone to their parents without question.
"Mr, Sanders, this is Jane with the account for sale - I'm calling to verify that you have made a paypal purchase for product x, in the amount of Z." - If they have no idea that they bought something, let them know that their paypal account, email account, bank account and computer may be compromised and they should run full virus scans, update passwords, and check with family members.
3. If they don't have a landline that's listed, ask for their living address. Send them a letter with a code that they must provide to you.
4. Obtain their IP address from an email, to check their geographic location. (You can determine country and city of the sending computer.)
Outlook Express instructions:
Select the message you want to investigate.
Select the Details tab at the top of the message window.
Look for the last block of text that looks like
Received from 126.96.36.199
That is their IP address. Save it for the next step.
It is necessary to keep the email because it also has other information that is useful in a successful prosecution of internet fraud. If defrauded, copy/paste the information you're looking at and send it to paypal. It will help them know if it's the real user. If it's the real user, they're busted!
4. Go to dnsstuff.com or network-tools.com - run a test to get their Information.
If you run the IP address shown earlier, you get Mt Pleasant, Michigan. If the customer says they're in Utah, but their IP address says New York, he or she is lying.
Last resort, you can also ask for a scan of driver's license, or credit card (with numbers blurred) It's easier to get someone's information online than it is to steal their wallet. Some online banking institutions have been known to request a scan of a utility bill made out to your name and address as proof of address.
NOTE: Buyers will pay you more if they can buy in confidence. That requires THEM to verify YOU. If any buyer questions your legitimacy, have them verify you by using the same methods. Don't put contact information in your auction pages though... that can be used by gaming companies.
The most important part of fraud deterrence is authentication. When you have someone's confirmed living address, you can sue them. It is also important to confirm quality and ownership of the asset before ever paying for it. It is common for sellers to overstate the power and value of their account.
To verify ownership and quality, the most common requests (And BAD practices) are for a character profile link or for an ingame face to face meeting so that the buyer can run the /inspect command to verify worn equipment. A lot of buyers and sellers will have a chat session over an instant messenger to develop a good feeling of trust between each other. This is also the favorite method of scammers to gain your trust. Do not trust someone because they had a chat session with you, and don't trust the profile link either until you have verified ownership.
Sellers are reluctant to provide links to profiles such as a wow armory profile because they fear reprisal from game companies. Ingame inspections are difficult to schedule because you and the other person may live in different timezones. The solution is to have them send you (or a friend of yours) a mail message in the game. Doing so provides their server and name. Now you can go look them up in the public armory if your game has one! All the benefits of a face to face inspection with no scheduling conflicts.
It is highly beneficial to have a trusted third party involved in the transaction. The third party holds the money from the buyer until transfer of assets is confirmed. This protects both the buyer and the seller. There are few providers of 'middleman' services. As more accounts get traded on my website, I have started a verification and escrow service to promote safe online trade, it is called Fraudsafe. In the future Fraudsafe will be expanded to include a universal feedback system that will be like ebay feedback, except usable anywhere online.
If a person has low trading feedback history or you can not verify them, do NOT accept paypal. Have them pay you safely with moneybookers.com, USPS money order, or Western Union. Paypal can be reversed quickly and easily, hackers and scammers love it! Be sure to verify them as well. The majority of paypal fraud is from 'paypal verified' accounts. "Paypalverified" doesn't help you if the account has been hacked. Shatteredcrystal.com has a fraud rate less than 1% because they do REAL authentication on every single customer.
Making a safer paypal form for your auction page or website:
1. Configure your forms to require a shipping address. - use this line of code.
2. Log into paypal, click on profile, click on website payment preferences, scroll down. Locate 'Contact Telephone Number' - switch that to ON. - customers are now asked to provide a contact telephone number.
SAFE BUYING PRACTICES
Get an account to account transfer.
Click link for info. This is the safest method of purchasing an account because you know you are getting full information and the characters or account can not be recalled safely. Both accounts will simply get banned. Crime doesn't pay, so there's no reason to try.
Paypal allows you to reverse payments for up to 20 days if you have a dispute with the seller that you paid. They usually require them to provide proof of delivery. Because of this, paypal is pretty safe. As a buyer, you want to avoid sending a moneyorder because you receive no buyer protection.
For the greatest security, use your credit card to fund a paypal transaction. If the seller does not have a paypal box on their site and wants you to log into paypal and pay them - Ask them to just log into paypal THEMSELVES and send an invoice. Responding to invoices or paying through a paypal form on a web page allows you to do the following...
PAY WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD! - Credit card companies can get your money returned up to a full year later if you have a problem or dispute. It's not as easy as filing a paypal dispute, but credit companies employ the best lawyers to deter fraud. Not only will you get your money back, the seller will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Here is what to look for to fund a paypal payment through a credit card for enhanced protection:
SAFE SELLING PRACTICES
Many paypal disputes are won because the seller embedded clever statements into the notes of their paypal money request.
Because paypal requires shipping information for a seller to win a dispute, it is recommendable to first send a buyer the login information, but not the original owner information or access to the administrative email account for the wow account. Send this information via mail. (This also verifies their living address.) Ask your post office clerk for identity verification and a signature. (Save the receipts, etc.) It will cost a little bit more, but you will be giving security to your sale. If they don't show ID to the postal carrier, they don't get the letter. If they file a claim with Paypal, you have delivery tracking. If Paypal fails and you go to court, you have documents that show that something was shipped. Print out the transaction details from Paypal as well.
Do not make changes to account information other than email address. Game companies may review accounts that have information changed. Ask your seller to leave the registration info alone. Game companies may also review the accuracy of the information. Seymore Butts at 555-123-4567 is a bad idea. Change the password, leave the rest alone. If the last user paid for their subscription with a credit card, it is a bad idea to use your credit card because your name is different and you want to keep a low profile. Using your credit card is usually safe, but I do not recommend it.
Another effective method of avoiding fraud is to use a payment system that is safer than Paypal. If you have an online business and are looking for a merchant account, I highly recommend Paysimple. What's different about them is first, there's no chargebacks. Second, if you want to ask your customers for their credit card information and type it in yourself, you can. It doesn't get more secure than that. You see their name, address, and know one of their credit cards. Still be sure to get a telephone number to confirm the purchase.
They cost about the same as a regular merchant account, so this is for businesses only. However, they are considering launching a free payment solution for regular users soon. Imagine that, we might have a Paypal killer.
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