Internet auctions are modern gold mines of things to buy or sell from anywhere around the world for what could be a sweet bid. But these online auctions can quickly turn into mine fields of fraud and unfair business practices. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are a growing number of complaints about late shipments, no shipments, shipments of products of lesser quality than advertised and bogus online payment services.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, understanding how Internet auctions work can help you avoid these problems. To learn more, the FTC offers Internet Auctions: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers.
Complaints about Internet auction transactions should be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC). The ICCC is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
The ICCC serves as a central repository for complaints related to Internet fraud. This information is shared with law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and is used to alert authorities about patterns of fraud.