Online auction fraud is the most common Internet-related problem reported by consumers. Thousands of individuals have been "winning bidders" on an Internet auction, sent money to the seller, but never received their goods.
To address this problem, the FTC initiated Project SafeBid, disseminating educational materials to consumers, encouraging fraud prevention by Internet auction sites, and providing training and support to law enforcement agencies around the country in their efforts to stop Internet auction fraud artists. As part of "Project Safebid," the FTC published "Internet Auctions: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers." The guide explains how Internet auctions function, identifies some pitfalls, and encourages buyers and sellers to get to know the product, the seller and the auction site.