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Avoid Scams - Recognizing scams - Examples of ScamsYou can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

* DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on our site.
* NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
* WE ARE NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION,anddoes not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provideescrowservices, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
* NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

* FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
* FTC online complaint form (
* Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
* Internet Fraud Complaint Center (
* Software Piracy (
* Non-emergency number for your local police department.

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on our site may bepart of a scam, please email the details Here. Besure toinclude the URL (or eight-digit post ID number) in your message.
Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

* inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
* Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
* inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consumating transaction

Examples of Scams

1. Someone claims that we will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that we will handle or provide protection for a payment.

* These claims are fraudulent, as we dont have any role in any transaction.
* Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from us, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller,providing payment services -- all such emails are fakes!

2. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check

* you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your item, or rent your apartment, sight unseen.
* cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or for just about anything else of value.
* value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to"trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
* banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
* scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

* Scam "bait" items include apartments, laptops, plasma TVs, cell phones, tickets - but could be almost anything
* Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before hecanwithdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, itisGONE.
* Common countries currently include: Nigeria,Romania, UnitedKingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Netherlands - but couldbe anywhere
* Apartment listing may be local, but landlord/owner is "travelling" or "relocating" and needs you to wire money to them abroad
* Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, rent is below market, etc

4. distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:

* this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE
* sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
* scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
* deal often seems too good to be true

5. distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service.

* most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers
* for more info, do a google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud"

6. distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods

* he says he trusts you with the partial payment
* he may say he has already shipped the goods
* deal often sounds too good to be true

7. foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers, then wiring funds

* foreign company may claim it is unable to receive payments from its customers directly
* you are typically offered a percentage of payments received
* this kind of "position" may be posted as a job, or offered to you via email
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