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Due Diligence in classifieds forum deals. I cannot stress this enough.


GrumpyOne
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All,

Recently there has been an uptick in potential scammers here on the forum. We try to catch them early and remove them, but we can't catch them all. This is just a reminder to do your due diligence when making a classifieds deal. 

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have a WTB ad up, and someone contacts you saying they have what you want for sale, and they have zero (0) posts on the forum, it is probably a scam.

When in doubt of the authenticity of a forum member, contact a moderator.

Do your research. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

More and more scams on popular sites. Several long time members have had their account logons hacked.  So these scammers are riding on the positive feedback and long term membership of good people.  
 

So just because they have positive feedback and have been around for a while, don’t send money without still doing a little vetting 

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The biggest/worst thing I've been seeing here is new members with zero posts, but with a bunch of Private Messages in their stats. We can't read those messages, but we can see the volume. Too often we find out those people created an account with no intention other than to cheat members here. They like to target Want To Buy (WTB) ads. 

 

Post one and you might get an offer that's too good to be true, that also includes a soft payment option that's actually a requirement (gift cards, BitCoin, XYZ transfer app, etc.). 

 

Beware. 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

It is highly recommended that you vett your potential buyers and / or sellers by researching their posting history, talking with other known members in good standing, etc. 

It is also recommended that all communications about buying or selling be confined to PM's here on the forum, and not through texts or emails (unless you are sure of the person you are dealing with).

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/10/2021 at 10:39 AM, ima45dv8 said:

The biggest/worst thing I've been seeing here is new members with zero posts, but with a bunch of Private Messages in their stats. We can't read those messages, but we can see the volume. Too often we find out those people created an account with no intention other than to cheat members here. They like to target Want To Buy (WTB) ads. 

 

Post one and you might get an offer that's too good to be true, that also includes a soft payment option that's actually a requirement (gift cards, BitCoin, XYZ transfer app, etc.). 

 

Beware. 

 

 

Great advice!

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  • 1 month later...

 

Recently there has been an uptick in potential scammers here on the forum. We try to catch them early and remove them, but we can't catch them all. This is just a reminder to do your due diligence when making a classifieds deal. 

 

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

If you have a WTB ad up, and someone contacts you saying they have what you want for sale, and they have zero (0) or very few posts on the forum, it is probably a scam.

 

When in doubt of the authenticity of a forum member, contact a moderator.

 

Do your research. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • GrumpyOne changed the title to Due Diligence in classifieds forum deals. I cannot stress this enough.

 

Recently there has been an uptick in potential scammers here on the forum. We try to catch them early and remove them, but we can't catch them all. This is just a reminder to do your due diligence when making a classifieds deal. 

 

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

If you have a WTB ad up, and someone contacts you saying they have what you want for sale, and they have zero (0) posts on the forum, it is probably a scam.

 

If you do place an ad, I strongly suggest NOT putting your phone number or email in the ad. If you do, I also strongly suggest that you only reply to persons interested in your ad through forum PM. 

 

If someone contacts you through your phone number, and not through PM, it is most likely a scam. 

 

When in doubt of the authenticity of a forum member, contact a moderator.

 

Do your research. 

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Thanks for continuing to update advice concerning buying and selling on the forum classifieds!  Scammers continue to change their tactics over time.  We all need to keep up to date on current scam techniques to alert ourselves to situations that leave us vulnerable to being mislead or ripped off.  Sometimes your own due diligence is the best firewall!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something to help everybody since I do this professionally (fraud prevention, not scamming lol) This is long but I love fraud and scams (you wanna make my day tell me a new scam I've never heard of), and hopefully my experience can be of value to my friends here at Benos.

 

In my job the number one question I ask myself is "does the information I have in front of me paint a picture that makes sense?" This should be your guiding principle. The big one we all probably know is "Is this too good to be true?" But sometimes a person just wants to unload a item quick, or doesn't know or care they're way below a fair asking price. And scammers can price things normally as well. So let's look at some other info that may inform your decision.

 

What you're going to be looking for is incongruities. For instance user BobSmith123 here on the forums is ready to take payment but he wants you to send payment to his Zelle at RaulRamirez@gmail.com. Or maybe Bob's posts on the forum tell you he's an older gentleman (he likes red dots cuz his eyes aren't what they used to be) but the email he's using to hash out the particulars is getmoneyganggang4lyfe@protonmail.com (This would be an account takeover, I tell you what that is later). Or perhaps he has his phone number listed here on the board but while arranging payment he is texting you from a different phone number. These are all things that warrant some investigation, because it doesn't make sense that Bob wants you to send money to his friend Raul. Why can't he take the money? Or why is he using a texting app to speak with you instead of the phone on his account?

 

At the very least, you're gonna want to start asking questions when you notice incongruities. Something you can do is ask them if they have a phone number you can call them directly on. It is important you call them and not they you, since it's very easy to spoof an incoming phone number. Run that phone number through truepeoplesearch.com. It is a free public database similar to what cops or debt collectors use to do skiptrace, though unfortunately less complete than I'd like. Anyway, does the phone number they're provided match their name, or their surname? Or at least is the area code (first three numbers) local to where they say they are located? Can they even speak on the phone? Many times they can't talk, they only have access to a text app. If you talk to them on the phone, does Ari Finklestein from NYC sound like he should or does he have an African accent? (many scammers aren't even here in the states and that's an example straight from my experience lol) Are they willing to provide information like their current address so you can check? if you're sending someone a few grand for a racing pistol that will finally make you B class champion (it won't) they should be willing to provide that info. Obviously, if someone doesn't know their own address, is slow to provide it (I've literally had guys audibly clicking keys trying to find "their" address with me on the phone) or provides one you can't match them to it's a red flag, though I caution you not to trust truepeoplesearch 100%. For one, it's not always current; even the professional ones I use can be wrong. People move or change their info and it doesn't update right away, or the wrong info makes it's way into the system, OR the fraud you're speaking to may be pretending to be someone whose info they know. Frauds can buy a complete doss on someone online, use truepeoplesearch just like you, or even download the kind of information they need to steal an identity off of pastebin (yes, criminals share info with other criminals anonymously for free. Weird, right?). Do not despair my friends! Like any other industry, the vast majority of these guys are just not very good at their job and want to put in the least effort possible.

 

Seems like a lot of effort, right? Sure. At work and personally I treat the risk of getting beat like I'm gambling. What are the stakes, how risky does it look? The more money at stake the more effort I will put into verification. If it seems iffy but has great upside I will put in more work. If it's big money, not a great deal and the guy has a limited history why bother? Go buy retail save yourself some stress.

 

"BUT WHAT'S THE MAGIC BULLET YOU LONG WINDED A-HOLE?" I would say the thing that makes me most comfortable sending my money is speaking to someone on a phone I called that I was able to independently verify, whose name matches the name on the email they are using for their method of taking payment. They could still steal from me, but I'd feel confident BobSmith123 is actually Bob Smith.

 

Just some random thoughts that didn't really fit into the body of this post:

 

As said in the OP, new accounts are a red flag. New email accounts are a huge red flag, but unfortunately I don't know any resources for free to check that. If anybody does please tell me I won't be in this career forever and I'll miss having that lol.

 

Grumpy said if someone contacts you outside of the forum it's a bad sign. It can be yes. What that would mean is that the person running the scam doesn't want to burn their account they're using to view the forums, and they're denying you a chance to look at that account and see they aren't very involved in the community. When someone responds to me for an ad I like to use email (so i can scope it out and compare it to the email/username they're using for payment, as well as check the email using my work tools) but I will ask that they say they emailed me in the comments.

 

THERE ARE NO PAYMENT METHODS THAT ARE SAFE. No, not even USPS money orders, my boomer friends. I wouldn't even trust paypal G&S, we are doing gun stuff, they hate us. So every time you send money to a stranger online, you should accept there is a chance you are sending that into the ether. There's not much to be done, it's not card not present fraud, you clicked the button to send money to cashapp handle $cammin5876. So ask yourself, even if the deal is aaaaaaamazing, can you afford to lose that money? You should also know that you can literally be talking to Bob Smith, who is a real person who is exactly who he says he is, send your money and he decides he'd rather keep your money and the gun too. Trust me, even if the cops over there are sympathetic, they know any work they put in past taking a report is unlikely to get a conviction for a small scam where the victim is out of state. These scams are very safe work for criminals.

 

If red flags are going up but the seller is a long time member of the board, pay attention to the red flags! Account Take-Overs are a massive threat and one I ran into recently on Gunbroker. This guy hit some solid red flags, not using the phone listed on his account to communicate, couldn't accept calls (he was using a text app) and wanted payment at a zelle that had a different name than the one on the account. An established member with many transactions is a good indicator but it is not the be-all end all, a bad actor could have their log in information and are using their account to run a scam on you. Take a peek at haveibeenpwned.com sometime and see if your own email has been spotted in a data leak, I bet it has. To prevent your account being used to scam someone else (and possibly ruining your rep on this forum) make sure you update your password frequently (ok fine, semi-frequently) and use a unique password.

 

Finally, if you made it this far, some general tips for your own financial security because I love you:

 

Try to use a credit card for online transactions if you can. If that info gets stolen and used for a card-not-present fraud, it's not your money, you get credited back faster. It's tough times if you were running close to the line, bills are due and someone steals right out of your bank account.

 

Lock your credit through the big credit reporting companies, transunion, experian and equifax. It's free, relatively easy to unlock when you need to have your credit pulled, and saves you a massive headache when (not if, these days) somebody wrangles your data, builds a doss on you and tries to open a line of credit in your name. Save yourself years of pain.

 

I hope all this nonsense helps you understand a little more about fraud and scams and what they might look like, as well as given you some tools to detect them and protect yourself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Recently there has been an uptick in potential scammers here on the forum. We try to catch them early and remove them, but we can't catch them all. This is just a reminder to do your due diligence when making a classifieds deal. 

 

 

 

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

 

 

If you have a WTB ad up, and someone contacts you saying they have what you want for sale, and they have zero (0) or very few posts on the forum, it is probably a scam.

 

 

 

When in doubt of the authenticity of a forum member, contact a moderator.

 

 

 

Do your research.

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