Avoiding scam buyers can be a challenge, especially if you’re selling goods or services online. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself:

  1. Research the buyer before completing the transaction. Look for reviews or ratings from previous sellers. This can give you an idea of whether the buyer is reliable or not.
  2. Use secure payment methods. Paypal, for example, offers buyer protection for certain transactions. This means that if you don’t receive the goods or services you paid for, you may be able to get your money back.
  3. Don’t send goods until you’ve received payment. If the buyer wants you to ship the goods before they’ve paid, be cautious. Scammers may try to get you to ship the goods before you receive payment, and then claim that they never received them in order to get a refund.
  4. Be wary of unrealistic offers. If a buyer offers to pay an unusually high price for your goods or services, be cautious. Scammers may try to lure you in with unrealistic offers in order to get your goods or services for free.
  5. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a transaction if you have any doubts.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from scam buyers and ensure that your online transactions go smoothly.

What types of payments do scammers prefer?

Scammers may prefer certain payment methods because they are less secure which may make it easier for them to get away with fraud. Some payment methods that scammers may prefer include:

Wire transfers

Scammers may ask you to send them a wire transfer because it is difficult to reverse and the money is usually transferred directly to the recipient’s bank account.

Gift cards

Scammers may ask you to buy gift cards and then provide them with the codes on the back of the cards. This is difficult to trace and the money is usually not recoverable.


Scammers may ask you to pay with cryptocurrency because it is difficult to trace and the transactions are usually not reversible.

Unfamiliar payment methods

Scammers may try to use unfamiliar payment methods that are not commonly used or that are not well known.

It’s important to be cautious when using any of these payment methods and to only use them if you are confident that the person or business you are dealing with is legitimate. If you have any doubts, consider using a more secure payment method, such as a credit card or Paypal, which offer some level of protection against fraud.

Expose a Scammer

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Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023

Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.

There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.