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READ BEFORE POSTING. Scam thread. Tips or signs that you might be getting scammed.

Discussion in 'Bad Sellers or Scams' started by binary visions, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    edit: Please, no more posting threads about yet another scammer who falls into the below categories. If it is covered here, don't bother posting. If there is a new or unique scam method, please post it in this thread.

    Okay, so as not to waste space in the forum, I thought I'd post up this thread to consolidate the million scam emails kicking around. They are getting to be as widespread as spam, so posting the email addresses of the scammers isn't very useful anymore.

    Thought I'd start a list of the dead giveaways that the emails come from scammers so anyone who is unsure can check the list. Post up anything that I've missed.

    1) ANYTHING involving a "shipping agent" or if the buyer cryptically says that s/he will make "shipping arrangements." If they won't provide you a shipping address, it means they don't want you to have contact information.

    2) ANY time a buyer wants to give you an amount higher than the asking price, and "trusts" you to send them the balance.

    3) Any time the email looks like it's been generated out of a form or by copy-and-paste. If the email says, "Hi I am interested in your 2004 Specialized FSR Mountain Bike, can you please provide me a price for your 2004 Specialized FSR Mountain Bike?" or "I am interested in (MOUNTAIN BIKE)."

    4) If the first contact email straight up says they'll take it and to provide the following information:
    5) Poor communication skills are always a big red flag. I realize that not everyone speaks English as their first language, but you can usually tell the difference between someone trying hard to speak well, and someone who can't even grasp basic communications.

    6) Along the same topic, if responses are not addressing things you've said in your communications, it's probably a scam. That is, if you ask a direct question or state something that obviously requires a response, and they don't even acknowledge it, that should set off a red flag.


    The bottom line is if it even crosses your mind that it's suspicious behavior and it might be a scam, there's a good chance it is. Many of these things seem obvious to some people, but others don't see it. Post your tips!
     

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  2. $tinkle

    $tinkle Expert on blowing

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    #7: requesting information about your bike that's readily available in the ad (they don't tend to keep track of all the lines they've dropped in the water)

    #8: person claims to be a proxy buyer

    #9: email contact can be a combination of common name w/ sequence number (e.g., mike.williams_1298@hotmail.com). while this is good practice to prevent spambots from guessing your address, if the contact doesn't communicate like a 'mike williams', this could be a red flag.

    also, google phrases used in correspondence to confirm #3 (usually reveals outstanding complaints from others)
     
    #2 -   Mar 2, 2007
  3. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    I would like to highlight this one. One of the more common scam emails asks "What is the present condition of this item?" and "What is the final asking price?"

    If you listed the condition of the item in the ad, and they are not asking for specifics (e.g. does it have any scratches), write it off as a scam. If you stated the asking price and they are not haggling, same deal.
     
  4. SK6

    SK6 Turbo Monkey

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    The reason for the post is this following email is a standard they use:

    Notice how they use my FULL name, derived from my email addy....I received this letter from 3 other "individuals", and I mean identical.

    Simple email response


    just a suggestion
     
  5. ultraNoob

    ultraNoob Yoshinoya Destroyer

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    Hey, got a new one today. Great version of the classic nigerian scam (see above) except that the person is in the Midwest and is "moving over seas". Person had great grammar and spelling too. My friends actually fell for it, but asked me to look over the emails to make sure they didn't miss anything. It's a good thing they didn't hand over any critical info.

    Poor grammar and spelling are no longer a prime indicator of a scammer. Good luck everyone.
     
  6. phil78

    phil78 Chimp

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    I'm posting for advice from more experienced sellers on the legitimacy of Paypal and C.O.D. shipping:

    I've got a number of things for sale, and I've had a couple requests for C.O.D. sales to Canada. (I live in Maryland). Both people who requested this were averse to other arrangements: One person said he thought C.O.D. was the best arrangement for shipping to Calgary because shipping there is "difficult" and that he would never use Paypal because he knew too many people "burned by Paypal." Another person said she "preferred the simplicity" of C.O.D. I explained to both people that Paypal protects both parties: I ship expensive items to other countries only AFTER I have received payment, and they have full protection from fraud if they use a credit card (through the chargeback process). I then asked them to explain how I am protected if their form of C.O.D. payment--cashier's check, money order, personal check--doesn't clear. I thought this was a reasonable question, but both people stopped replying to my emails. That made me think they were trying to scam me.

    Please respond if you can give me advice on safe ways to sell C.O.D., if there are any, and please let me know if there is a better alternative to Paypal for selling things to people far away or in different countries. Thanks!
     
    #6 -   Oct 9, 2007
  7. ultraNoob

    ultraNoob Yoshinoya Destroyer

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    I've been with paypal since 1998 and have never had a problem with their system. But then again, the priciest thing I've bought/sold is less than $800.

    C.O.D. on the otherhand is a complicated issue. When I used to work for FedEx, the COD's were always done with cash. The cash was deposited by FedEx and a cashiers check would be sent to the seller within a week. Not sure how your shipper does it.

    My bottom line is... If I don't trust the other person, I won't deal with COD or a non ebay paypal transaction. The rest of the time I prefer face to face transactions. It just boils down to trust.
     
  8. Transcend

    Transcend My Nuts Are Flat

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    Paypal does have a habit of screwing people, just to be clear. The routinely close accounts and confiscate the funds present in it for no legitimate reason. The seller ALWAYS LOSES. Paypal will protect the buyer fairly well, but as a seller you have lots to be worried about.
     
    #8 -   Nov 3, 2007
  9. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Another warning flag that I've seen before and someone just posted here, is a buyer specifically requesting to do business with an "honest seller." Usually accompanied by one or more of the above signs (bad grammar, asking for already available information, etc.).
     
  10. maddog17

    maddog17 Turbo Monkey

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    i've never had a problem using Paypal. just remember that they take a small % of the sell price for their commission. as far as COD, you should remember that it doesn't mean that the buyer HAS to pay in cash. they could write a check which could be bad. i was a shipping mgr. and we dealt with a lot of COD. for those that bounced checks with us, we specified that the order had to be paid with Cash or a Certified Check. that puts a bit of pressure on the carrier, UPS or Fed X because it's now their responsibility to collect the right payment. as an example, we shipped an order cash/cert. check with fed x and the driver took a regular business check. well the check bounced and fed x paid us and went after the guy for payment. so doing a COD can be ok, just as long as you specify to cover your butt.
     
  11. eaterofdog

    eaterofdog ass grabber

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    I have to disagree with this. If the seller sends you anything, they can use the shipping record as proof of a completed transaction and the issue will be closed.

    I suggest using an escrow service for anything over a couple of hundred bucks.
     
  12. ocrider

    ocrider Chimp

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    What do you think about a seller that only wants to be paid by U.S. Postal money order?
     
  13. RUFUS

    RUFUS e-douche of the year

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    That is usually pretty good. The only thing that sucks about that is that you don't have any scam protection in the way of you getting what you paid for. They get the money order and they have the item and then just bail.
    I have yet to have that happen and I have had sellers go money order only, no paypal which I personally don't like. luck
    I know that Transcends response is quite old but it is very true.
    I have sold a few laptops as well as a few higher priced items on ebay.
    The buyer paid with paypal using a credit card. As soon as the laptop was received they disputed the charge on their credit card and on paypal.
    I provided all the info from the first comm. to the final shipping receipt and receipt of item with no luck.
    Paypal could give two craps about the seller. I ended up losing the money that I had received for the items as well as my items.
    PISSED ME OFF to say the least.
    I personally like face to face cash transactions with reputable members but paypal is the backup.
    Make sure you are able to protect yourself and get all information, name, address, phone, email, all communication, etc recorded for later date if something happens. I usually keep all of that for a little bit just in case but that is mainly for bigger priced things only such as frames, computers, etc.

    Good luck!!!
     
  14. ocrider

    ocrider Chimp

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    Thanks for the words of advise.
     
  15. chaostactics

    chaostactics Chimp

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    I'm new around here but I have been burned by a person though PP. I sold an item mind you not bike related, marine aquarium related(where most of my money goes) any way it was a pump for a fish tank. I sold it on a fourm, and I had copies of many PM's back and fourth as well as screen shots of the pms and forum posts from the buyer. I got paid via PP and shipped the item in a priority box. Days later I get a scathing pm about how it wasn't the right pump, which it was. She immediately files with PP. Two days earlier I had transfered money out of my PP account to cover a car payment, her filing reversed that transfer, took the money for the pump out of my account, and froze my PP assets while the claim was ongoing. I was late on my payment:disgust1:. Any way she gives me this bs, and claims she's sending the pump back and wants a refund (mind you she's already filed for reverse charges.) three days later I get my priority box back with refused stamped all over it, also mind you that I have PM's confirming that she has opened to box to view the item, so when it ships back she doesn't pay for shipping because she taped the box closed and "refused it." So I open the box, and low and behold a broken item roughly the same exact weight of what I sent her but no where near what I sent her which was brand new in package. I told PP this, and tried to file with USPS. PP stiffed me, gave her the money, and didn't give a crap she scammed USPS.

    Lesson learned, I now always! photo graph what i've packed in the box and how I've packed it, I no longer ship priority to people I don't already know, and I have USPS weigh the package (I pay them postage, rather than printing my own) so that If I get something back that weighs different I can dispute it. Also in the event that I get another person trying to send back and item I will have my mail stopped so that my package gets held at the post office and I can open the package there in front of a USPS person.

    I imagine this scam would be super easy to say switch out a busted fork, suspension piece, etc.:disgust:
     
  16. T.Rex

    T.Rex Monkey

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    If the seller does not produce the merchandise and or adquate shipping infomation within the agreed upon time-line, call PayPal and start a paper trail; ask them when you can file a claim. Next, file the claim after 7 days and file a claim with your credit card company.

    Save every piece of communication between you and the seller, you'll need to provide documentation to both PayPal and the Credit Card company. If you use a bank card, they will refund your loss and prosecute the seller. Many banks will cover your loss, if not, change banks.

    Honest sellers will go the distance (if necessary) to provide the buyer with enough information to be comfortable with the purchase.
     
  17. project 2501

    project 2501 Chimp

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    i have both good and bad experience with paypal. the bad is that they immediatelly take (or try to take) funds if the buyer opens a dispute (or claim)..
    good is that i once bought a hooodie listed as new on ebay from a seller with over 1oooo feedback mainly positvie 99.99 and they sent me a 1ooo times washed and heavily used shyt. i opened a dispute, and they told me to send it bck. the hoodie was around 4o , shiping 16 (doubled its 32) so i told paypal noway will i ship at my own expense. i thought i lost my money, but suprisingly i was given back the whole amount including shipping, and i kept the hoodie (which anyway was a bullshyt)
    ebay and paypal together is a heaven for buyer and hell for a seller..)
     
  18. $tinkle

    $tinkle Expert on blowing

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    just had a guy asking if i could take a photo of the SN. perhaps he had one stolen just like mine? or is he trying to set up fake paper work & claim it's his when he tries to nick it from me & the cops have to settle the playground dispute?

    he also asked for the history, which may also be used to construct a story "where he first bought it".

    spidey sense is tingling on this one...