Barter Bay · Buying · Selling

Is this a scam? 4 tips to protect yourself from scammers

Online buy and sell platforms like Barter Bay allow you to reach out to thousands of people to buy or sell. Besides the convenience, we enable you to save on merchant fees by cutting out a middleman to handle the purchase.

Here at Barter Bay, we work hard to keep our platform safe. However, as with any other online spaces, there will always be a small number of malicious users. We try to identify scammers early and ban them, but hey, we’re not going to pretend that none of them can slip through the cracks.

You can take steps to protect yourself from scammers. Here are some tips on how to recognize and avoid scammers’ tactics.

conversation (1) General

  • Do not give out your personal information lightly, including your phone number and email – use the Barter Bay chat to communicate with the other party!
  • Be wary if someone insists that you make a quick decision. They may be trying to trick you into making mistakes.
handshake (1) If you are meeting up with someone

  • Meet up at a location where you know there is people traffic. Never meet in small alleys or empty areas. Use “Suggest a location” in Barter Bay to see a list of trusted trading locations.
  • If possible, bring a friend or family member along.
  • Buyer – Check the item before leaving, to ensure that it is the same product as what the seller had posted.
  • Seller – Count the amount of cash that you receive before leaving.
parcel If you are mailing

  • For any confirmation emails from payment or delivery services, check the sender’s email address. Be extra careful of confirmation mails that come from a free domain (e.g., These may be sent from someone pretending to be a business that you trust.
  • Hover your mouse over links in email to check their actual URL. If the URL is suspicious, do not click on it.
  • Buyer – Request for the tracking number of the package and use trusted payment services such as PayPal. They provide a channel to open a dispute, and you may be able to get your money back in the event of a scam.
  • Seller – Ask for a deposit for your item. When the buyer says that they have sent the payment, check your payment service’s official website to ensure that you have received it. Do this before sending your item out!
robber What to do if you identify a scammer

  • Stop all contact with the scammer. Block them on Barter Bay so they can no longer message you.
  • Report the user to us so that we can investigate and ban them.


By Jessi Huang, Designer, Barter Bay.

Icons made by Freepik from

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