Frauds Using Online Sales Platforms: A Step-by-Step Guide

With the increasing popularity of online sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, it has become easier than ever for people to sell products online. However, this has also led to an increase in fraud and scams on these platforms. In this blog, we will explore the step-by-step process that fraudsters use to commit fraud using online sales platforms.

Step 1: Creating a Fake Account 

The first step in committing fraud on online sales platforms is creating a fake account. Fraudsters create fake accounts using fake names, email addresses, and phone numbers. They also use fake profile pictures to avoid being identified. Once the account is created, they start listing products that they do not own or intend to deliver.

Step 2: Listing Fake Products

Once the fake account is created, the fraudsters start listing fake products on the online sales platform. They use images of real products and create fake descriptions to make the listing look genuine. They may also price the fake product lower than the market price to attract potential buyers.

Step 3: Receiving Payment

Once a buyer shows interest in the fake product, the fraudster requests payment through a method that is difficult to trace, such as a wire transfer or gift card. They may also use a fake payment portal to collect the payment, making it difficult for the buyer to retrieve their money.

Step 4: Failing to Deliver

After receiving the payment, the fraudster fails to deliver the product as promised. They may provide fake tracking information or stop communicating with the buyer altogether. This leaves the buyer with no product and no way to get their money back.

Step 5: Disappearing

Once the fraudster has received the payment and failed to deliver the product, they disappear from the online sales platform. They may delete their account or create a new one using a different name and information to avoid being caught.

Preventing Fraud on Online Sales Platforms

To prevent falling victim to fraud on online sales platforms, there are several steps you can take:

Research the Seller: Before making a purchase, research the seller and check their reviews and ratings. If the seller has no ratings or negative reviews, it may be a sign that they are not trustworthy.

Use Secure Payment Methods: Use secure payment methods such as credit cards or PayPal that offer buyer protection. Avoid using wire transfers or gift cards as they are difficult to trace.

Verify the Product: Verify the product by checking the manufacturer’s website or contacting the manufacturer directly. This will help you ensure that the product is genuine.

Use Trusted Online Sales Platforms: Use trusted online sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy that have measures in place to prevent fraud and protect buyers.


Fraud using online sales platforms can be detrimental to both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, it is essential to be vigilant and take steps to prevent falling victim to fraud. As a seller, it is important to maintain the integrity of the platform by listing genuine products and being transparent with buyers. By working together, we can create a safer and more trustworthy online sales environment.

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