In this day and age you must learn to protect yourself from fraudulent online sellers.
It can happen anywhere. From online behemoth eBay to online mom & pop stores to semi-private Facebook groups.
Consumers hold the power IF and ONLY IF they think with their heads and follow the rules of the payment processor. It is almost impossible for a consumer to get scammed online unless they use payments that have no recourse or don’t follow rules & deadlines.
We suggest Paypal backed by a credit card. This gives you double protection. If you buy something online and it isn’t as described or the item doesn’t arrive, Paypal has your back. In the case of “item not received” you have up to 180 days to file a claim. Most people would never wait that long and we suggest waiting no longer than 3 weeks maximum for a domestic transaction. If you think Paypal takes too long to make a decision then call your credit card. Easy peasy. Never, ever pay with “family & friends”. This type of Paypal payment offers NO protection!
We also recommend using a credit card directly. You have the full protection of your card.
We DO NOT EVER recommend Zelle. Hopefully they will put in some fraud protection but for now it’s really geared more towards friends & family bank to bank transactions.
We do not have enough information about Apple Pay, Facebook Payments or Venmo to make an opinion. We do know that Paypal owns Venmo (sorry Millennials!!)
When you join a buy/sell/trade group on Facebook you do so at your own risk. Please try to vet your trading partner as best as you can. If they want wire transfers, Zelle, Friends & Family through ANY service, money orders, etc. then just say no. Credit cards are your friend for ecommerce.
If you do fall victim to a scam you should file a complaint with the IC3. This is the internet crimes division of the FBI. They may not doing anything initially but as the number of people who complain grows and the dollar amounts increase they will. It’s best to get these people on the radar. Internet Crimes division of the FBI