Internet Auctions

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You can buy something new, find rare collectibles or sell antiques at Internet auction websites. But scammers also use Internet auctions to try to rip off consumers. The complaints generally deal with late shipments, no shipments, or shipments of products that aren't the same quality as advertised or even bogus online payment services. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, understanding how internet auctions work can help you avoid these problems.

Protect Yourself When Bidding Online

Watch for these red flags when buying items thru online auctions

Scammers will ue many combinations of these red flags in their attempts to take your money):

Watch for these red flags when selling items thru online auction:

Protect Yourself When You Sell Online

Watch out for counterfeit checks and money orders from buyers. Scammers will sometimes try to purchase items posted for sale on legitimate websites using very real-looking counterfeit checks.

Never agree to wire excess money back to the buyer or to someone else. Scammers will send a counterfeit check for more than the purchase price and ask you to wire back the extra money, which will end up coming out of your bank account even after the check is discovered to be a fake.

Benefit Auctions



A benefit auction is an auction organized by a religious, benevolent, fraternal organization, youth association or charitable activity to raise money for a religious, benevolent, youth or charitable purpose. A charitable purpose includes raising money for a family in need, such as a home destroyed by fire or flood, or a person with large medical bills.

If all the items are donated, the gross receipts from a benefit auction are not subject to sales tax. Retailers owe use tax on the cost of donated items that are taken from tax unpaid inventory. Items donated directly to exempt entities are not subject to use tax. Clerking and auctioneer services provided at no charge are not subject to sales tax.