The age of COVID-19 has prompted many people to foray into the internet to make purchases or sell items.

They may want to stick to closer to home, to local businesses and people they trust, or do some research first.

More and more incidents of online scams and rip-offs are causing big concerns; the Minnesota Department of Commerce sent out an alert last week, urging Minnesotans who sell and buy items online to be cautious. The department noted that online sales websites may offer an easy way for consumers to save money buying or to earn extra money selling through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Nextdoor and other platforms, but scammers are searching those same sites, hoping to steal your money.

The commerce department offers these tips:

  • Before you buy or sell to anyone, do your homework and check out who they are. Search online for the buyer or seller’s name, email address and any other identifying information to see if they have been reported by others as fraudulent or otherwise not trustworthy.

  • Check whether you are getting a good price. Search online for the value of the goods or services you are seeking to buy. If you find a sales price that is significantly undervalued compared to other sellers, that can be a warning sign that the seller is engaged in a “too good to be true” scam.

  • Read buyer reviews about the…

Read more…