KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Shopping on auction websites continues to become more and more popular. But, watch out.
Scam artists offer to sell stuff that does not even exist. It is a trend that continues to grow.
The Kansas Attorney General reports this week his office stopped a series of fraudulent online auction transactions totaling nearly $1 million.
What can you do to protect yourself? Here are some tips from the AG's office:
1. Carefully study the item listing and look for a complete description. Make sure the description matches the picture. Make sure the photo is not a stock picture.
2. Check the seller's reviews from past buyers. If the seller is new, be cautious. If the seller is overseas, be extremely cautious.
3. Contact the seller to ask specific questions. Find out their exact physical location. If you do not like the answers, move on.
4. Figure out the total cost of the item, including the shipping. Sometimes shipping can cost more than the item itself.
5. Use a secure method to pay for the item. The AG's office states a big red flag is when the seller asks you to pay offsite.
6. Keep all documentation, such as emails and receipts.