If you're someone who likes the latest, greatest, newest smartphone, tablet or laptop, that likely means you're looking to get rid of a used electronic device. Many consumers search for ways to sell their used devices and scammers see that as a perfect opportunity to reel them in with promises of big bucks.
"Don't send your device to a company you found online that promises to pay you a large amount of money after you have mailed your device to them and they have received it," said Kenny Ehrman, chair of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Consumer Protection and Public Safety Foundation. "You may be better off trading the device in for credit on your new one, or donating it. Just be sure all of your personal information has been removed from it."
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of Georgia recently put a stop to one company that was running several buy back websites and not following through with its promises. Laptop & Desktop Repair ran websites like cashforiphones.com, cashforlaptops.com, ecyclebest.com, smartphonetraders.com and sell-your-cell.com. According to the FTC, It gave customers online quotes with a promise to send the quoted amount after getting the devices. Customers complained that they were receiving as little as three percent of the original offer, with little recourse when calling or emailing to find out what was up.
Trading in, recycling, or donating your electronic device? Be sure tocheck out the FTC's tips on disposing old computers and disposing mobile devices to be sure you delete all personal information from the device before you dispose of it.