Recognizing scams
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Author:  WatchDog [ Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Recognizing scams

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

* These claims are fraudulent, as does not have any role in any transaction.
* Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from, 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.
* cashier's check is offered for your sale item.
* 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:

* Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
* Common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere
* Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, 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

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