Avoid scams by following these guidelines:
Recognizing common scams:
Wiring money is like sending cash. The sender has no protections against loss.
By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. You are responsible for the checks you deposit. When a check turns out to be a fake, it's you who is responsible for paying back the bank.
Know where an offer comes from and who you're dealing with.
Most scams involve one or more of the following:
To Report Scams and Frauds:
You put an ad on backpage.com selling an item. Someone inquires but wants to use PayPal instead of cash.
The scammer requests that you SHIP THE ITEM. They tell you the purchase is urgent and ask that you send the item as soon as you receive a confirmation email, allegedly from Paypal, informing you that funds have been transferred to your account. What you will then receive is a fake confirmation email from "PayPal" saying that the money will not clear until you send your item. This is ALWAYS A SCAM.
To confirm whether or not payment has been made to your PayPal account:
The scammer requests that you MEET IN PERSON. They send you the money for the item normally though PayPal (usually from an account with an "unconfirmed address" such as a fake P.O. Box) and collect the item from you. Later the scammer challenges the transfer with PayPal, claiming they never received the item. PayPal's policy is that it will reverse a purchase transaction if the seller cannot provide proof of delivery, such as a shipping tracking number. Such transactions are not covered by PayPal's seller protection policy. PayPal will not accept video evidence, a signed document, or any form of proof other than a tracking number as valid proof of delivery.
It is important to note that PayPal is a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay and is generally geared toward online auction transactions (such as eBay auctions), not classified ads. As such, PayPal's seller protection policy is limited when it comes to non-auction transactions.
Money order scams: