Have you lost money or merchandise online? Sadly you’re pretty much on your own. Most local police send failed internet transactions to the FBI’s IC3 website to file a complaint. Chances are you’ve went this route and never were followed up by the feds! 😥

fbi ic3
Smartphone screenshot of FBI IC3 eCommerce fraud reporting website

The internet today is like the old wild-wild-west of yesteryear. A time where their was very few laws, and even less law enforcement. Just walking into a saloon and looking at an outlaw often put a bullet into a persons head. Sadly this is the internet today as LE has not kept up with the times.

When updating our site move page yesterday, I was curious if the FBI IC3 website had been updated. A quick look revealed an old outdated basic html interface that looked the same as it did back in 2012. And even worse this website where consumers are sent to file a complaint was NOT mobile friendly. Good luck filing a complaint on this antiquated website with your smartphone.

Sadly consumers still fall victim to too-good-to-be-true low priced merchandise for sale on the net. Being a former used car dealer that sold cars online over the last 15 years I’ve witnessed hundreds of consumer lose their money to Internet car scams. And sadly today consumers still are being suckered, and it’s the same old yada yada yada go to the FBI IC3 website and file a complaint.

Then there are companies that solicit consumers to sell expensive electronics, jewelry, antiques, etc, who often fall victim to buyer return fraud. This hustle is performed on unsuspecting mostly private sellers. Buyer files a complaint claiming the item id broken or not as described. Company tells the buyer to return the merchandise for a full refund. Buyer is refunded and seller receives something else in return. Company says we’re sorry. The FBI IC3 is no help with white collar crime like this.

As it is these days buyers and sellers should research that “what if” situation if their eCommerce transactions do not go as planned. If you’re buying a used car online check out my used car buying and selling guide before purchasing or sending payment. NEVER pay for a used car with Gift Cards, this is a popular scam that’s reeling in suckers daily. When selling motor vehicles do not accept any form of electronic payment. The safest payment when selling used cars is bank wire transfer.

It’s my personal opinion that Fraud is an accepted practice when doing business online these days. Whatever happened to the good old days when a persons word was their bond? Businesses were built on word of mouth and referrals from satisfied customers. These days with eCommerce it’s hook-em and crook-em anyway you can. So your best bet is to cover your butt! 😉