Protect Yourself From Fraud & Scams

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Apr 11, 2019
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In this section, we cover some great tips on how to recognize scams on classifieds websites and forums as well as how to protect yourself online. If you have any questions about what we cover on this page or if you need further assistance with anything regarding our website, please feel free to contact us. We're here to help.

Protect Yourself From Scams

Please read this section very carefully. It is your responsibility to remain safe on the internet. If you suspect that someone is trying to scam you, please report them to us. While we make every effort to stop fraud in its tracks, it's up to you to deal with caution.

1. We do not guarantee the validity of businesses or individuals that choose to use our websites. We do not offer a Payment Protection Service or any other type of buyer or seller protection. If you contact a seller and they send you some sort of a buyer protection agreement with our name all over it, you can be sure it's fraudulent. We did not authorize this and it's definitely a fake.

2. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. A shiny new item costs what you would expect a shiny new item to cost. Don't think you are going to get a "great deal" by paying less than half of what it's worth. A low price is one of the tactics scammers use.

3. Try to make all purchases and sales in person. If you absolutely must have something shipped, use a reputable escrow company such as If the seller accepts credit cards, use one. Never use cash or cash equivalents with any online transactions. Beware of fake escrow services that have been set up to take your money. If the seller recommends "their" escrow service, consider it a scam.

4. Don't buy or sell something when the buyer or seller is from overseas. Chances are, you'll never see your money again. Many internet scams come from overseas. Scammers like to say they are on a "trip" or have "recently moved" overseas and must conduct business from there.

5. Never pay with Western Union, Moneygram or other anonymous payment services. Scammers love to use these services because there is no way to trace your money. There is also no way to recover it once payment is made. Once the money is gone, it's gone.

6. Don't fall for the classic cashier's check or money order scam. Here's how it works - The scammer offers to pay by check (cashier's check/money order) for more than the item is worth, then they will ask you to send them back the difference (usually by Western Union). A couple weeks later you find out the check was fake and the bank will take it out of your account. This scam can be set up several ways. Some scammers have even gone as far as setting up their own websites.

Here are some helpful tips:

- Obtain legitimate contact information. Get phone numbers. Get addresses. Ask for references with phone numbers. Legitimate buyers and sellers will offer these things.

- Ask for a photo of the seller holding the item. Ask for a photo of the seller holding a piece of paper with your name written on it next to the item.

- Make all transactions in person.

- Remember, there is no rush. Take precautions and pay with a method that offers protection.

These are only tips. They don't guarantee a good transaction. That is up to you.

Here's some more helpful information for you.

Avoiding Scams

All types of buyers & sellers have flocked to the Internet in recent years to search for killer deals on "pre-owned" products.

Here are some of the most common scams directed toward buyers & sellers online:

Certified Check Scams - This scam is often perpetrated on sellers of items over the Internet thorough classified ads and auctions. A buyer indicates that he wants to buy the item and pay with a cashier's check. At the last minute, the buyer creates a reason why he needs to write the check for more money and have the seller wire him the difference. The check turns out to be a fake, but it is often discovered long after the seller has wired the money. In addition, the seller is responsible for covering the money for the fake check. To avoid check scams, call the issuing bank before you accept the check and wait for the check to clear before you transfer anything to the seller.

Bogus Escrow Services - Online sellers often use escrow services, which collect and verify payment from a buyer. The money is held by the service until all parties are satisfied with the sale. There have been some instances of phony escrow services operating on the Internet.

The best way to avoid most scams is to make sure you never transfer anything to a buyer until you have the cash in your hand. That means, you either get cash from the buyer or wait for the cashier's check to clear. Avoid buyers who will never meet you or never wish to see your items in person (overseas). Avoid taking personal checks and allowing buyers to pay your items off over time.

If buying, always verify the seller actually has/owns the item for sale and meet them face-to-face to view the items. If you follow these few precautions, your buying and selling experience should go smoothly.
Protect Yourself From Fraud & Scams was posted on 06-17-2019 by Admin in the Information & Announcements forum.

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