Trust spurs economic activity.
Unfortunately, bluffing is a familiar practice with online marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay and Amazon. Individuals with a checkered past are incentivized to deceive online sellers and pretty much anyone who can confer underserved benefits.
Strangers, including online buyers, lie about age, credentials, criminal history, personal finances and references to pursue tactical or strategic objectives by any means necessary. For example, minors often attempt to buy regulated products online such as cigarettes, CBD, pharmaceuticals or lottery tickets, as well as try to use a parents’ credit card without proper authorization.
“There are important reasons for confirming a potential buyer’s claims,” says Elvis Džebić, representative of CheckPeople.com in a recent interview. “The most important reasons are to lessen your exposure to fraud as an online seller, and to conduct due diligence prior to finalizing a transaction. For example, a minor may be attempting to purchase age-restricted goods from your website which can cause punitive regulatory actions on your operation.”
The Orlando, Florida-based company provides a wide range of information about people’s backgrounds. Age, past crimes, bankruptcies, liens, lawsuits and social media accounts affect a person’s credibility, as well as paint a picture of his/her trustworthiness. These also inform online sellers, including those who sell personal items, on how to properly deal with an interested buyer.
“Due diligence falls on the shoulders of sellers who have a need to only transact with serious buyers who won’t waste their time and cause problems,” says Elvis D. “To people who use Craigslist, eBay, Amazon and other marketplaces, we offer unlimited searches, verifiable and up-to-date information, as well as confidentiality.”
“With that being said, however, a background check is by no means a credit report,” says Elvis Džebić. “A background report only contains information that is already available in the public arena such as court records, bankruptcy filings and sex offender registries. Whereas a credit report can require consent and can be used for obtaining a loan, running a tenant check or conducting HR employment screening.”
It’s risky and dangerous to transact with charlatans because false claims can go beyond harmless white lies. You may be dealing with a con artist or tax-liened person who pretends to be a qualified purchaser.
By not verifying their personal background and claims, such people can make an illegal purchase (in the case of minors), cause headaches (such as not having the funds to complete the purchase) and perpetrate a fraudulent scheme.
It can be difficult to identify risky individuals without a background and/or reference check. A small budget allocated for this purpose can save both time and money by providing the data points that identify red flags such as minor age and bad credit.
Smoke And Mirrors
Liars are often skilled at making you hear what you want to hear. And to let you see what they think you want to see. It is, of course, all smoke and mirrors.
But if the rewards are enticing enough (such as lucrative opportunity or access to regulated goods), then fraudsters will devise elaborate schemes to obtain what they don’t otherwise deserve.
Unfortunately, there are many bluffers in the real world.
When it comes to employment, for example, a Feb. 2020 survey by a reference check company found that 78% of candidates who received a job offer in the last six months misrepresented or would misrepresent themselves in an application. A 2020 survey by ResumeLab found that 36% of Americans lie on a resume.
According to former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss, the most dangerous negotiation is one you don’t know you’re in. “… negotiation is an influence and information gathering process. So if you don’t think you’ve been negotiating until the very end, well the other side has been gathering information and influence on you the entire time, and if you’re oblivious to it, then you’re the fool in the game.”
Bluffing is common in the real world. In online marketplaces, it’s an oft-used strategy for perpetrating a crime. Charlatans disregard the consequences of actions as long as they have a chance to obtain lucrative rewards. The key is to implement defensive countermeasures against these unethical aggressors.