Internet auction house eBay has revolutionized commerce. But along with that revolution has come an enormous volume of fraudulent transactions. Law enforcement has been eager to press charges against apparent schemes.
Sometimes, they have pressed charges wrongfully.
Both sellers and buyers have been charged with online fraud. Charges against sellers include:
- Selling counterfeit merchandise. That American Girl doll may be a cheap knockoff.
- Selling bootlegged merchandise — articles that are themselves illegal.
- Stiffing the buyer. Accepting payment but not shipping the goods.
- Providing misleading product information.
- Selling stolen items.
- Deceptive shipping costs.
- Creating shill accounts to drive up bid amounts.
Buyers are also charged
Charges against buyers include:
- Claiming a purchase never arrived, when it did.
- Returning items other than the ones purchased.
- Buyers create shill accounts, too – to make high bids to scare away competitors.
- Damaging a purchased item to get a refund.
In addition to these offenses, eBay is often a platform for phishing attacks, credit card fraud and identity theft.
Law enforcement is often willing to file charges even when the offense at hand is minor, or unintentional.
When that happens to you, you are in a pickle. Police will look good for apprehending you, and your reputation will take a hit.
Don’t be stampeded. Ryan & Ryan, Attorneys At Law represent clients caught up in Internet fraud sweeps. There are workable defenses against these kinds of charges. We have enjoyed success protecting the rights of many individuals falsely charged with forgery, embezzlement and other online white-collar offenses.
Many times, the person charged is also a victim of deception. If you are charged, do not talk to police – have an attorney in Internet-based criminal charges do the talking for you.