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6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting SCAMMED

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Example of a scammer at work.

http://laserpointerforums.com/f39/selling-my-75mw-e3-elite-wicked-lasers-cheap-look-72763.html

You can use these 6 steps to help prevent you from getting scammed when buying an item that's for sale. Nothing is 100%, but the more information you have the less chance you will be taken advantage of.

1. Never send cash through the mail. Always use a Postal Money Order, or check whenever you can. If a seller wants cash, walk away. When mailing a money order, or check, always get the "Tracking" option (around $0.70). This will at least give you some proof the item was delivered. This goes for sellers too. Always track your packages to avoid people saying they didn't receive it. Getting "Signature Confirmation" is an even better option because it requires a signature upon delivery (around $2). The bigger the paper trail you leave, the more evidence you have in case you get scammed. Also avoid sending anything to PO Boxes if possible.

2. When using Paypal never send as "Gift" or "Money Owed". If you send money this way you cannot file a dispute through Paypal if you get scammed. If someone asks you to send money this way its a sure bet its a scam. Always send money as "Payment For Goods", and write a description of the item in the message field. If something goes wrong you have 45 days to file a dispute in Paypal. If you have not received your item by the 40th day, open a dispute. If the seller tries to stall, and/or says they will not refund your money unless you close the dispute, then escalate the dispute to a claim and let Paypal handle it. But do not file a dispute until it reaches at least 35 days. Delayed deliveries are not uncommon.

3. Use a middle man. A middle man is a trusted member that you can send the money to, and also have the seller send the item to. If the middle man sees that there are no problems they will forward the money, and item to their respective places. The extra shipping is usually covered by the buyer, but any arrangements can be made. This is highly recommended when the seller has no reputation, posts, or is new.

4. Never buy anything without posted pictures of the working item. If they are a new member ask for pictures with their name, and date next to the item. Even if the posts are deleted after the sale they can be brought back to present as evidence if you get scammed. Everything on this forum is backed up.

5. Check out the Trades Feedback & Dispute Resolution of this forum. This section is loaded with good, and bad reviews of the dealings between members. If you don't find the member's name you can make a thread in that section, and ask if some members have dealt with the seller in the past. Or ask a few Vets what are their opinions about the member in question.

6. Always check the reputation of the member on their profile page. Also check how long they have been a member, and how many posts they have posted during their time here. There are no guarantees here, but if you have a member that's been here a year, with over 500 posts, and a good reputation, chances are you can trust them. If you have a member that just joined, has no reputation, and a handful of posts, use extreme caution. Never buy anything from a member with no posts that PMs you. If the seller is reluctant to comply with any of the steps above, walk away.


Fraud on the internet is illegal, and a felony in the US. Always report any instances of fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, and then the sellers local police station, and postal office.

Lastly, if it sounds to good to be true, it often is. Remember talk is cheap, on the internet its free. Don't be enticed by the "Deal of a lifetime". If you have a seller reluctant to work with you at any point, than take your money else where.

Be safe, and good luck.

TJ

Edit: Not a step, but a warning when paying up front for work done here, and in real life.

To the buyer,

One definitely has to be careful when paying up front for something to be built. If you're dealing with a builder who required full payment up front because they couldn't cover the build costs otherwise, then you're probably dealing with someone who doesn't have much of a financial cushion or margin to get them out of trouble if something goes wrong. And things have gone wrong many times here. Even to the best of the builders.

Deposits are different because it is common to take a deposit on custom work, but if someone says they need the full price in advance for a long time frame project, that should set off alarm bells for a prudent buyer. Refer to step 2 above.

To the seller,

Trying to make a living here by selling items or custom work that has not been created has failed numerous times here, on a epic scale at times. Valuable members have had their reputations lost because of poor financial planning. So if you dont think it can happen to you, you are sadly mistaken. If you are not financially prepared to cover any extra costs occurred from unexpected hurdles, then you should not be offering items or custom work. This includes Group Buys, custom parts/units, and complete builds. If you are commissioned, communication is a must, even if you dont hear from the buyer for long periods. Always keep your client in the loop and send updates of your progress at regular intervals. If an issue comes up the buyer will be more understanding. If you find yourself getting too deep, stop, and try to work out a refund situation. You can only dig a hole so deep before it finally buries you.
 
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lasersbee

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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

This should be mandatory reading for all new members...
and a few of the not so new members....:whistle:

You couldn't have made it any clearer T_J.... :gj:
This should be stickied in the Welcome section....


Jerry
 
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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Thanks Jerry.

I dont know if it should be moved. More new members lurk here than the welcome section.
 

lasersbee

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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Yeah... you have a point.....
I'll aim them to this thread when I welcome
new members to the forum...


Jerry
 

wee40811

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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

The second one helps me a lot. I never know that untill I see this. I appreciate this. Thank you Tech_Junkie.:gj:
 
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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Anytime.

Yeah a lot of people dont know that for some reason. When dealing with money you have to read all the fine print.
 
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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Thanks for posting this T_J. I'm sure alot of people will learn from this. :beer:
 

jakeGT

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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Stickied IN the b/s/t Section, although many do not read the stickies. I vote until it gets sticked(which it most def. should) that we bump this thread to the top at least once a day. Seems like every other day somebodys getting scammed on here nowadays.
 
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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Scams are definitely picking up. I should of compiled this long ago. :yabbem:
 

jakeGT

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Re: 6 Steps To Prevent You From Getting Scammed

Yep, I feel like this should get spammed all over the place in signatures, and however else. It would be really cool, if in EVERY B/S/T section thread, if this thread was linked at the top of the page right above the beginning of the thread somehow.


EDIT: +1= from 207-208
 
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