Scam Small Ads - Don't Get Caught Out!

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Scam Small Ads - Don't Get Caught Out!

Post by maximus » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:04 pm

This is about musical keyboards and other gear advertised in the small ads but it equally applies to any other goods or services.

I have noticed over the last few weeks an increasing amount of adverts for high end keyboards at exceptionally low prices. The most recent being a Korg Oasys 88 at a price of £1299! (It retails at near £6000) This was posted in www.gumtree.co.uk but no doubt has also appeared in other online publications. Another recent one was a Yamaha Tyros 2 for only £450!! (a correct price would be nearer £1400)

NEVER do a deal like this unless it's face to face, cash on collection and you can test the gear and NEVER go alone! It's not unheard of for someone to turn up to buy something only to be attacked and their money stolen.

There are a number of common schemes the scammers use to part you with your money. If the scammer is acting as the buyer they will often use the fake cheque scam. This is where they send you a cheque for the goods but usually for too much money. They will either say it was a mistake and ask you to refund the money to them or they will claim it is to pay their courier who will collect the goods from you.

Using the fake cheque scam they win both ways. The cheque will actually clear into your account....this is because of the very slack way our banks DONT verify each cheque that goes into your account. Having seen what appears to be cleared funds in your account you happily pay the scammer who turns up posing as a courier to collect your goods. Not only do you hand over your precious items but you also pay them for the privilege! Remember...the cost of the courier was included in the cheque? Or if they have supposidly made a mistake in payment and the cheque was made out for too much money, you will have refunded them the difference....out of your own funds!

A couple of weeks later you may find your bank account and credit cards are frozen and yourself being arrested for fraud. You were the one who paid in the fake cheque and you were the one who drew on the funds so, essentially as far as your bank is concerned you have stolen from them! Even though the banks and the police are aware of these scams it may take you an awful long time to extract yourself from this situation.

The next method is when you are buying from the scammer. In the case of adverts in gumtree.co.uk they will either tell you that they will only take payment via Ebay and Paypal or that they can only take payment through the "Gumtree System"....there isn't one!

They assume you don't know how Ebay works and will tell you that it's perfectly safe. Despite the fact that their scam goods are not actually advertised on Ebay....they really do think your dum! What they do then is ask for all your details...which they will later use in another scam and then they say you will receive an email from gumtree or Paypal requesting payment into a hastily set up Paypal or bank account. They then send you fake emails which look like they are from Paypal or Gumtree. You can easily tell where they are really from by looking in the header of the email...not just in the "from" field as you can put anything there.

The simple rules here are. If buying through the small ads, only pay cash on collection and test the equipment before you part with any cash. I have personally come across cased where equipment has been purchased only to find later that it was an empty box or there were parts missing! It happens, so be careful.

If buying through Ebay, again pay cash on collection if you can but if not, make sure the seller has a verfied Paypal account and good feedback and also if possible use a credit card via Paypal. This gives you double protection against fraud. Paypal themselves will guarantee your payment but so will your credit card company and you will be able to get back your money if the goods don't arrive. Debit cards don't offer this protection.

Above all though, if something looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is!

You may not think it but hundreds of people every week fall for these scams...don't be one of them!


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Post by jthspace » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:58 pm

Wise words - especially about Ebay which is getting a reputation for scams. I have seen a few posts on other websites about the "look-alike" emails and even ebay pages redirecting to dummy sites to get ebay / paypal details.

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Post by Wodger » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:41 am

Heed Max's words people, these scams are turning up more and more in a variety of sites, and more and more people are getting duped into them.
Thanks Max for posting this

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Post by maximus » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:30 am

Many people don't yet understand that the "from" field in an email can be anything and so they automatically assume it's legit. It's a shame that to use the web safely you have to almost be a security expert these days :(

Of course some people are their own worst enemy. I have had people come to me asking if I thought something was a scam and even though I showed them proof of how the scam worked, they still went ahead and sent off thousands of pounds, which of course they never saw again. What does it take to make some people listen?
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Post by jthspace » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

I tell people at work NOT to respond to anything that gets thru our firewall / email monitoring proggy. A user forwarded a mail that was supposed to have come from the FBi (note spelling error) stating the attached letter from the Bank of Nigeria was legitimate.

Send USD 600 and they will ship the bank draft . . . )

The FBi email and the Bank of Nigeria letter contained language errors that made it totally obvious it was a scam. OK, the Americans use "American English" but their grammer is generally acceptable . . .

The user at work thought it was legitimate and should he send the money off? I advised him why he thought that USD 600 was worth spending to get USD 1,500,000 he was not expecting. Told him to do it and have a Happy Christmas.

Sent him a "dont do it" 5 minutes later, before the fool sent anything . . . .

Sheesh, what can you do?

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Post by Wodger » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:54 am

I got one through just the other day, asking for help in accessing someone elses account who had just died, and another much like the one described above by Jeff asking for help in Nigeria - hmm sound familiar? :)

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Post by Wodger » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:02 pm

To our recent new members (and the older ones also) :P got another bank scam email this morning, taking my total up to nearly 6 in the past year. People be wary about these, banks would never link you to a site to enter your details, all ask you to login through their website (typing it in).
This one took me to a makeshift website at scatterbox.net or something.

I fwd these onto the banks anti fraud departments, but rarely get a response, and never a thankyou. :x

If not sure, visit your branch, or call their helpline from your records in your home.

So many people are still falling for this BS and then wondering "hmm, where has my money gone?"

Regards,

Pete

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Post by maximus » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:23 pm

Well the thing is Pete, banks aren't doing anything about it. It's been shown that they completely ignore the emails you send them even though they encourage users to report these phishing attacks. It's about time the government started demanding that banks do something rather than leaving it up to them...especially since we, the tax payer, now own most of them!

By the way, you guys can really help me out here. If you get any of these dodgy emails or come across any scams of whatever type can you head over to one of my other sites, antiscam.net and post them there? It would really help me out. The site was down for quite a while with a corrupted database and I really need to get some life back into the forum there.
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Post by jthspace » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:25 pm

Is the post above a scam? Asking us to visit a scam site?

:D

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Post by Wodger » Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:33 am

:D

We have a phrase here in the Philippines Jeff, and usually say it to a child that has been very naughty - "Da Pa!" It basically means you are going to get spanked :D

Da Pa Jeff!

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Post by jthspace » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:54 am

:lol: - it was worth it!

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Post by Wodger » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:37 am

maximus wrote: By the way, you guys can really help me out here. If you get any of these dodgy emails or come across any scams of whatever type can you head over to one of my other sites, antiscam.net and post them there? It would really help me out. The site was down for quite a while with a corrupted database and I really need to get some life back into the forum there.
Just registered (Awaiting admin approval :P) as just got another barclays scam

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Post by maximus » Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:56 pm

Have activated that for you Pete. Any scams you find, no matter where, let us know about them. Thanks
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