Auctioneers turn to real life ID checks

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Auctioneers turn to real life ID checks

Online traders in Australia should use better ID verification systems so that consumers can tell the difference between fraudulent and honest sellers, says OZtion MD Philip Druce. iTnews looks at the security surrounding auction house accounts.

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Druce said that consumers can secure a higher level of protection against being ripped off if they can see that the seller’s ID has been independently verified.

“Providing our members with a safe and secure environment is paramount to our success and we get excellent feedback from customers on how they feel comfortable trading on OZtion,” Druce said.

OZtion, Australia’s second largest online auction service, attaches an identification ranking to each item for sale on its website.

Sellers can verify their identity with a 100 point ID check at any Australia Post branch, as well as phone-based ID checks, photo, address and credit card verification. If sellers adopt the 100 point ID check, OZtion covers the item to a higher amount under OZtion’s Buyer Shield program.

Druce said, “This system encourages the sellers to secure a higher level of identification, because it drives more sales as buyers feel more comfortable transacting with them.”

A spokesperson from eBay agreed that ID checks were helpful in preventing fraud.

“In Australia, we have a de facto 100-point ID check. To sell on eBay, your account needs to be linked to a financial instrument – a credit card or bank account, which requires a 100-point ID check.

“You also need a Paypal account, and to get a Paypal account you need a credit or debit card, which again requires a 100-point ID check to obtain.”

eBay also pursues new sellers with irregularities in their registration. “If we see things in the registration process that concerns us, we contact them for further identification. This requires a working phone number, and their account will be locked until we approved them.”

But seller account identification had to extend beyond the registration process, said eBay.
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