How to Stay Safe on Etsy
Because Etsy is so popular, it isn't just home to artists and crafters; it's also a place where of con artists and shafters look for innocent shoppers and craftspeople to scam. As you use Etsy, be on the lookout for scams.
Most fraudulent activities on Etsy involve the use of money orders or cashier's checks. For example, if someone contacts you with a vague offer to buy something in your Etsy shop via money order or cashier's check, but offers to pay more than is necessary to expedite the item or includes some other weird request or instructions, beware. This interaction is typically an attempt to relieve you of your merchandise without compensation.
Given how many scams involve the use of cashier's checks and money orders, you may reasonably choose not to accept those forms of payment for items in your Etsy shop.
Some of these scammers operate by purchasing an item — usually something expensive — and indicating that they'll pay by money order or cashier's check, but they tack on a substantial amount along with a request to, say, buy them a new notebook computer and ship it to them along with your valuable piece. The catch? The money order or cashier's check is really a forgery. The end result: Not only does the scammer effectively steal your item, but you reward her by buying her a computer!
If anyone asks you to front her some cash or some other expensive item, pronto, your answer should be a polite but firm No.
If you get taken on Etsy, contact your financial institution on the double. Second, report the situation to Etsy. You may also opt to alert your local law enforcement.
Here are some other safety tips:
Lurk before you leap: Before jumping into a forum or team discussion, monitor it for a while. See whether the Etsians engaged in the discussion are people you want to interact with.
Don't hesitate to exit stage left: If a discussion goes south, simply disengage. Heavens to Murgatroyd, life's stressful enough! Why embroil yourself in a conflict on a site that's supposed to be fun?
Limit personal information: Don't share your digits or other personal details, such as where you live or work, on Etsy's forums, teams, or other public spaces.
Avoid oversharing: If you wouldn't be comfortable sharing something with, say, your boyfriend's grandmother, then it probably doesn't belong on Etsy, either.
Think before you connect in real life: If you do decide to meet in person, pick a neutral public place — somewhere you'll feel comfortable. Tell a friend or family member your plans, and be sure to bring a cellphone.
Be nice: If you're kind to others online, others will be kind back. Not only is it bad karma to knowingly insult or harass another Etsy member, but it's against the site's rules. Abusive behavior can get you kicked off the site for good.