Before we go over the tips to spot a scammer we wanted to give you some tips you should use in dealing with all buyers/sellers.
- Always deal in cash.
- Buy/Sell face to face, no shipping.
- If you are concerned of strangers knowing where you live you should agree to meet at a public place. Maybe a gas station, parking lot etc.
- Communicate with the seller/buyer via the messaging system on the site. This is the big one that will help you more than anything. The scammers are going to do whatever they can in order to get you to talk to them via e-mail. We recommend you don't do this, period. There is a reason why they want to move the conversation to e-mail... so they can tell you a long story about the product. They know that we cannot filter out the scammers via e-mail as efficiently as we can with the messaging system.
- If it is too good to be true.... IT IS!
Although we did make some significant changes to the new site in order to thwart scammers they are still hanging around. I wanted to give you a few tips on how to spot a scam so you don’t waste time communicating with these people or worse, lose money.
As a buyer you may get the typical “you can pay the shipping company” comment. This is obviously a scam and don’t deal with them at all.
As a seller you will get the cashier’s check, shipping company, Western Union, Money Gram, money order or escrow scams as well. These normally also include some odd communication where the buyer’s location, e-mail or phone number changes during the process.
Overall if the person you are dealing with is asking too many questions or wanting you to buy/sell in some odd way you should report the ad as bad and walk away. When an ad is marked bad by enough users it will automatically be removed from the site therefore protecting others. Once a user has been marked bad enough times we will take action to de-activate their account. Here is a sample e-mail our sellers get quite a bit.
“Hello Seller Thank you for your reply to my question about your item. I’m okay with the final price as well and i will like to make an instant purchase,So please do withdraw the advert from the site.I don’t mind adding an extra $40 dollars for you to take the advert down from the site so that i can be rest assured that am in hand of the item,But Please bear in mind that you are not to bother yourself about the shipping of the item okay ? I have already arrange with my agent company that will be coming over for the pickup of the item immediately you receive the personal check/Money Order cos i still have some pending item to pick up at the same time with yours,so the payment that will be send will include the cost of the shipping charges and cost of your item .So I will need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check..
- Your full Name that will be written on the payment.
- Your Contact address to mail out the payment,
- Your phone number to contact
- Your last price of the item.
Once again ,I will like you to know that you will not be responsible for shipping.I will have my mover come over as soon as you have cashed the checkHope this is clear to you ?
The intent of the Nex-Tech Classifieds is to provide a local place to buy and sell. If you are buying or selling an item I would recommend dealing with local people (Kansas or Nebraska). We view the Classifieds as a user community so please let us know as you are dealing with scams and use the report bad ad feature. Here is a screenshot of where the link is located.
Who should I contact about fraud or scam attempts?
- Local police departments if you have actually been a victim and lost money.
- Federal Trade Commission.
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center.
The only way Nex-Tech can get involved with a scam is to disable the users account or provide information to the authorities if provided a proper subpoena. We will not provide any user information without proper legal documentation. This protects all of our users for any situation. Overall the best way to make the Nex-Tech Classifieds better is for our users to use the “Report Bad Ad” feature as quickly as possible to limit the spread of these scams. If our users are savvy enough to not get taken advantage of eventually the scammers won’t want to waste their time…let’s hope.
Here is a good story from Wired magazine regarding cyber criminals. It will hopefully give you some insight into the mind of a cyber criminal.
Internet Solutions Manager