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Using Online Classifieds: Some Safety Tips

With purse strings tightened, more and more people are turning to online classifieds for great deals — or to make a few extra dollars selling items no longer being used. Unfortunately, it’s a trend that has not gone unnoticed by scammers, who have become more widespread and creative in how they use online listings as a tool to target potential victims.

Here at Oodle, safety is a top priority and we’ve taken a strong stance to combat classifieds SPAM. We use proprietary fraud detection software to scan each and every listing before it can enter our network. In addition, our support team is armed with proprietary moderation tools for tracking down suspicious behavior and new scams. Working with the Better Business Bureau, we recently published an online classifieds safety guide to protect both buyers and sellers against potentially harmful situations. Following are a few simple tips to make sure you have a safe — and successful — classifieds experience:

  • Always meet in a public place — and avoid making an in-person transaction alone
  • Inspect all items before you buy
  • Beware of underpriced offers — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Don’t wire money or take advance payments
  • Insist on cash–never use money wires, MoneyGrams or Western Union
  • Never give out personal identifiable information, such as your credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or bank numbers
  • Only pay for shipping if you know the seller

To see the entire guide, visit

If you do happen to run into a fraudster or are suspicious of a certain listing, tell us about it so we can spread the word.

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