Shop Safely

  1. Never pay in advance to the seller that you do not know.
  2. Even if the seller discloses their personal information or bank account number, this does not protect you from being cheated.
  3. Where possible, request original receipt and a written receipt for the purchase.
  4. Never send the goods before payment arrangements have been finalized.
  5. When meeting with the buyer/seller, make sure that you meet in a public place


Take extra caution when…

  1. The offer sounds too good to be true.
  2. The other party keeps pushing you to complete the deal.
  3. Someone asks for your bank account or credit card number.
  4. Paying large amounts to people you don’t know. Try to meet up at a shop or at a public place.
  5. Buying branded items. It is always advisable to meet up with the buyer at a shop and check the authenticity of the item.


When sending goods

Most fraud cases take place when the buyer and seller do not meet.

When you buy…

  • Never pay any money in advance, no matter how reliable the seller seems to be.
  • Fraudsters often offer to provide proof of identity (passport, driver.s license, etc) as a “guarantee”. This does not protect you against fraud or being cheated!
  • Postage paid by seller or registered mail is not risk free. You have no way to verify the package’s contents before you pay for it.

When you sell…

  • It is always good to deal with COD (Cash on Delivery).
  • Never send the goods before payment arrangements have been finalized.
  • Avoid payment by cheque. It is not certain that the cheque can be cashed.

Special warning – Overseas payments

  • Some international payment solutions offer built-in security features, such as PayPal, but this is not common. Refrain using payment services such as Western Union, MoneyGram, BidPay or any other local money transfer services as it may be very difficult to control/stop payment with these services. Such services are also popular with fraudsters for the same reasons.



  • Never pay in advance.
  • Goods sent through mail can be risky.
  • Do not send money to a recipient in a foreign country.
  • Avoid using most international payment services.


Stolen items

It is important to make sure that the goods you are buying are not stolen. The owner is entitled to recover stolen property even if you have purchased the goods “in good faith.”

  • We suggest that you always request to see the original receipt when possible.
  • For vehicles, please check with the Land Transportation Office, PNP Anti Car-napping and macro-etching if the seller is registered as the owner and the vehicle has not been reported stolen.
  • You should check the seller’s identity when in doubt.
  • When in doubt, you can also check with the police to ensure that the goods are not reported stolen.
  • For branded items, please ensure that the serial numbers have not been manipulated.
  • For vehicles you should always verify that the chassis number has not been tampered with.
  • If you suspect an item to be stolen, please contact us and the relevant police department immediately.


Please help us by using the above advice to prevent criminals from selling stolen goods.



  • When possible, request for original receipt.
  • Check the serial/chassis numbers.
  • Request for proof of ownership for big purchases such as property or vehicle (Grant, Sale and Purchase agreement, registration documents, etc).


Branded items and software

It may sometimes be difficult to determine whether a product is a forgery or an original. We require all sellers of goods in selected categories to declare that the item they are selling is an original, but some sellers may still attempt to sell such items as pirated software or fake branded products, even if this is prohibited on

When you buy…

  • Ask for the original receipt to verify that the item is genuine or original.
  • If a receipt is missing, you can request to meet the seller at an authorized shop to verify the authenticity before you pay.
  • Please let us know immediately if you suspect that the item advertised is not original or pirated.
  • Always notify us and lodge a police report if you have been cheated. will then cooperate with the police investigations.


When you sell…

  • You must ensure that the product you are selling is genuine/original.
  • If you state that you are selling original items when you are actually selling pirated goods, you can be found guilty of committing fraud, whereby legal action can be taken against you by the police.



  • Request original receipt.
  • Verify authenticity.
  • Fake or pirated goods are prohibited on



When you buy…

  • Please check that the vehicle is actually owned by the seller. This can be done at Land Transportation Office, PNP Anti Car-napping and macro-etching
  • Always check the background or history of the vehicle if possible before deciding to buy the vehicle for sale. If the vehicle has an outstanding loan, ensure that it’s been paid before the change of ownership takes place.
  • Check the service record to verify the vehicle’s history and mileage.
  • Request to have the vehicle tested by an independent service/repair shop.
  • Insist on a proper Sales and Purchase Agreement.


When you sell…

  • Ask for identification documents from a potential buyer (IC, passport, drivers license, etc) before you allow a test drive and check with your insurance company whether you have the necessary coverage. Some insurance policies do not cover your losses in case of theft or damage if you handed over the keys to the car.
  • Individuals posing as car dealers may contact you with the promise to get your car sold. Sometimes they leave a small deposit, but then disappear with the car.
  • Be sure that you have received full payment before you hand over the vehicle. If you accept payment by cheque, wait until it has been cleared by the bank.
  • Be aware of buyers trying to buy your vehicle from a different country and who want to pay with a check or bank transfer. This is a common method used by fraudsters.
  • Insist on a proper Sales and Purchase Agreement.



  • View proper identification documents before you allow anyone to test drive of your vehicle.
  • Beware of false documentation and individuals posing as car dealers.
  • Check the vehicle’s service record.


Sending money or goods abroad

Beware of so-called “Nigerian or African letters” and other attempts by individuals in foreign countries to send items out of Philippines. If a buyer wants to have the goods sent abroad, we recommend that you ignore the request. The purpose of these letters is simply to commit fraud.


How will I know that I have received a Nigerian or African letter?

  • The letters are often written in poor English.
  • The letters use the expression “goods” or “the item” where they mostly do not specify the item advertised. This is because they often use a standard letter.
  • The letters are usually sent from free e-mail addresses such as yahoo, gmail and hotmail.
  • Letters often entice you by offering more money for goods than you requested.
  • The buyer wants to pay by cheque or transfers the money into an account which doesn’t exist.
  • Sometimes the fraudster sends a fake payment confirmation which looks as if the money has been deposited into your account.


What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Nigeria or African letters are meant to trick you into sending money or goods to foreign countries. Please DO NOT get involved in such transactions as they are most often fraudulent.



  • Beware of e-mails requesting you to send goods abroad.
  • Do not accept payment by cheque.
  • Beware of false payment confirmations.


Transferring money online

When you make payments and money transfers online, you should be aware of ‘Phishing’. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you to obtain sensitive information such as passwords, bank account and credit card numbers, etc. It is often triggered by fake e-mails from Internet sites you know or trust, asking you to click a link and fill in your personal data / information. There are examples where links in e-mails claiming to be from a bank lead to a page who seems to belong to the bank (e.g. looking like a bank’s website), but which is controlled by someone else. Such sites are used to cheat the public and obtain personal information.


To protect yourself

As a rule, never click on links in e-mails claiming to come from banks or other financial institutions. You should always surf directly to the bank’s or financial institution’s website instead of accessing your bank account from another website. Be suspicious of e-mails (or the page they link to) asking you to enter your password or other relevant information to your bank account. There have also been reported cases where computer viruses are used to intercept and collect sensitive information. Therefore, make sure that your computer has the latest updated virus protection software. Your operating system and internet browser should also be updated with the latest security updates.