Nevertheless, please take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline.When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
- Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
- Be especially careful buying/selling high value items.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going.
- Take your cell phone along if you have one.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
While most members of Oxfordlocals have good experiences, it’s important to stay alert and educated about how to stay safe.
Get To Know the Market
It’s important to know what the average cost of the item you’re looking for is in comparison to the ad you’re viewing. If it’s drastically less than similar items, be careful. Fraudsters often post a once-in-a-lifetime deal to pull in as many people as possible. The common saying stands: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Do Your Research
If you’re buying an item, get to know what normally comes with it and make sure that all the parts you’ll need are there. For high-valued items, it’s also important to know what replicas look like and how to tell if it’s genuine.
If you’re looking into a service, job, or anything offered by a business, research the company online. Make sure that their address and phone number check out. If available, look up some online reviews.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
When speaking to individuals online, it’s important to be cautious when giving out information. Never give out your identification or banking details unless you are 100% sure that you’re speaking with the real company. Note: Oxfordlocals’s customer service team will never ask for your identification, passwords, or banking details.
Meet in Person Before Paying
A Fraudster’s greatest tool is that online translations are anonymous. Don’t provide any money until after you’ve met them in person and had a chance to inspect the item. We recommend that you meet during the day in a busy, public location like a coffee shop.
Choose Safe Payment Methods
Many forms of money transfer can be faked or are hard to reverse should anything go wrong. If you can’t use cash, use safer methods such as PayPal and make sure that the payment has been processed before trading the item.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
Sometimes a sale just seems off. If something doesn’t sit right with you, don’t be afraid to walk away. You are not obliged to follow through with a transaction even if you’ve already agreed a price.
- Oxfordlocals is a local classifieds site and not all ads are reviewed before going live to site.
- Oxfordlocals does not offer any sort of protection programs for Oxfordlocals items. Any emails or websites that talk about such systems are scams, even if they may have the Oxfordlocals logo. If you receive any emails promoting these services, please forward the message to us.
- This article is intended to serve as a quick overview of online safety. For more in-depth information, please browse our full Safety section
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When a seller says he is away or cannot be reached, but she he is happy to ship the item, do not continue
Taking these simple precautions helps make Oxfordlocals safer for everyone.Trust your instincts.
For more information about personal safety online, check out these resources: