Saturday, February 19, 2005

A Red Flag That Screams, "Scam Artist!"

Often eBay scammers give you way more information than you need. If it's a fake autograph, the crooked seller will provide you with reams of unnecessary biographical information on the subject. If it's a stolen comic scan auction, they will provide you with a synopsis of the book and the key first appearances. Like anyone bidding on a Babe Ruth autograph needs to read his entire biography or anyone bidding on an Amazing Fantasy 15 isn't going to know it's the first appearance of Spider-Man and Aunt May?

Often the scammer will also provide worthless information regarding his or her collecting habits and why he or she is selling this item. "My late grandfather collected for years," or "Another baby is one the way so I'll have to sell this at a loss if need be."

As a general rule of thumb, sellers that offer long narratives of biographical information are probably trying to distract your attention from scrutinizing the item itself.

Scammers are operating from a subconsciously defensive position, so they tend to offer much more information than is necessary in a transparent effort to bolster their "credibility" and "likeability."

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