If you have an online business and you do transactions online, working with clients and suppliers, then you know that getting scammed is a serious possibility. Here are some tips and hints to keep in mind.

Chances are that you will find someone who would like to cheat you in any way possible. Use your instinct. Evaluate and check the payment options and the shipping methods. Sometimes you will get checks; try to keep a record of the person doing business with you, so as to avoid fraudulent or fake checks.

When doing business with people from other countries, be a little more strict. Do not accept personal or traveler checks, because you cannot control and confirm them early enough. Use credit card and PayPal for the payments and do not ship the item until the transaction is fully confirmed. If you are the provider, you need to ensure that your clients do business with you using a secure system; remember that trust is something that requires both parties’ commitment, so try to avoid anything that can compromise the transaction. Make your client trust you so as to build a solid rapport. If using PayPal ship to confirmed addresses and keep a good record of clients and shipments.

There is no reason to avoid doing transactions with people from other countries and there is no reason to be biased. However you should keep in mind that several businessmen have been scammed, especially by people who appear to be in a few African countries. Several reports from the online fraud system show that several scams come from that place, mostly because American laws cannot apply there and the system is not friendly to American businessmen. This doesn’t mean that your fellow citizens cannot cheat on you, but at least you will be able to react and use the law.

Always keep in mind how your client communicates. Do not deal with clients that use third parties or avoid informing you on the payment method and shipping details. In any case, if you see that something is not quite right, either cancel the transaction or look for another way to do it. If the client sends emails, try to keep record of his IP address; it might prove useful.

Do not accept cash under any circumstances. You do not know where that money comes from, you do not know if it is authentic and real and in any case, online businesses cannot rely on cash. If your client is wealthy enough, he can find another, more secure and safe way to do business with you. Unless your client is your best friend, cash should be excluded from all transactions.