The vast majority of ads are posted by honest people who just want to do business with you. However, there are some bad actors online who will try to scam and cheat unsuspecting customers out of their money. So it is important to pay attention to some common-sense rules to avoid being scammed:
- Only deal with people in your area.
The best way to avoid scammers is to deal only locally with people you can meet in person and you can contact the police for help. Scammers will often contact you from another country or somewhere very far away, asking you to ship the item you're selling. Never send money or products abroad.
- Don't wire funds (Western Union, Money Gram, etc.).
If you're being asked to wire money, you're likely talking to a scammer. Never send money by Western Union, MoneyGram or other anonymous payment systems.
- Fake cashier's checks and money orders.
Do not accept checks. Scammers sometimes send you a fake cashier's check for more than your asking price. The scammers will then ask you to wire the over-payment back to them. Your bank may even cash this check, but when they discovered the check is fraudulent, you will be held responsible by your bank.
- Don't make payments using gift cards (iStore, Visa, etc.).
Gift cards payments are difficult to recover. You may be dealing with a scammer if you're asked to pay using gift cards.
- Beware of identity theft. Don't share your private info.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes anywhere. Don't give out your bank account info, passwords, mother's maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, credit card numbers, social security numbers, or any other personal information. They can use your person information to open a credit account in your name without your knowledge.
- Use caution when accepting relay calls from the hearing and speech impared.
Scammers sometimes use this service to contact you, pretending to be deaf. Remember to deal locally, with people you can meet in person.
- Avoid shipping and escrow.
Scammers sometimes use fake online escrow services to make you feel safe. But it could be a fake escrow service.
- Avoid deals that are too good to be true.
Scammers often post fake ads, with unusually cheap prices. It's a scam or the actual product is not as described (usually fake or defective). Avoid these ads.
- Verify information and keep your records.
Ask about the person you're dealing with another confirming source, especially their name, address and telephone number. Keep copies of all correspondence (emails, ads, letters, etc.) and details of the person.
Recognize scam attempts:
The majority of scams have one or more of these characteristics:
- The person is abroad or traveling abroad.
- The person refuses to meet you in person.
- Payment is made through Western Union, Money Gram or check.
- The messages are in broken language (English or French or ...).
- The texts seem to be copied and pasted.
- The deal seems to be too good to be true.
Please understand that we are a freely available service to help connect buyers and sellers. We are not involved in any transactions and can not police the actions of our many users.