Scammers Beware – Prevent Scamming and Remedy being Scammed

With scamming on the incline on social media, let’s talk about how to protect yourself from these awful people.
If you have a scammer alert please feel free to add them to the comments. We’re here to watch out for each other and keep one another safe!
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This old adage rings true now more than ever! If you find a *brand new* printer, that retails for $800, being sold for $150 because they just need to *get rid of it*, it’s probably a scam. Now, granted, there are always exceptions to the rule. See the next bullet point.
  • When you do find a great deal and you’re on the fence, ALWAYS PAY WITH STANDARD PAYPAL. Always , always, always, unless you personally know the person or you’re comfortable with losing the amount of money you’re about to send via Cashapp, Venmo, Facebook Pay or Paypal Friends and Family. NONE OF THESE ARE SECURE WAYS OF PAYING FOR GOODS AND SERVICES BEING SOLD BY A BUSINESS.
  • With that said, if you’re paying for a goods and service via Cashapp, Venmo, Facebook Pay or PP F&F, you’re breaking their terms and conditions of use and your account, including your Facebook account, can get terminated. These services are for personal use only. If you’ve got a business using any of these as their regular form of payment, you are NOT COVERED for your transaction and you have ZERO recourse if they take your money and don’t deliver on your product.
  • If you order something from FB Marketplace or Craigslist (in person purchasing) and you are physically going to pick it up, plug it in if it’s electronic and make sure it works FIRST. I purchase things on Marketplace all the time and pay them via Venmo or Cashapp once I get there to pick up and verify it’s exactly what I’m expecting. Then, and only then, sending money, via the service mentioned above, is okay.
  • If what your purchasing is “sealed in the original box”, OPEN the box and make sure what you’re purchasing is actually in the box. I cannot tell you the amount of people I’ve seen who’ve purchased something “new in the box” only to get home, unpack it and find it’s full of nothing but junk to weigh it down. If they won’t let you open the box, walk away from the transaction. It’s not hard to reseal a box and cover it in shrink wrap so you cannot see where they retaped/closed/sealed it.
  • Don’t give out any personally identifiable information over the phone or messaging. When you pay via Paypal, their business information will be shown as will yours. There’s zero reason to share this information with anyone before you’ve made your purchase.
  • Still aren’t sure about the person? GOOGLE them, search them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and ask others first. There are many “Buyer Beware” groups on Facebook that you can join and see if who you’re working with has scammed someone in the past.
  • If you still aren’t sure after all this, go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right or anything feels off, DON’T BUY! You are under no obligation to purchase anything from anyone. Chances are, for every scammer, there’s a reputable business who values you as a customer and probably has the products you’re looking for.
If you have been a victim of scamming here’s what you can do.
  • Send an official letter requesting a refund. While this is not required, it will help your case should this end up in court. The FTC has a sample:
  • Keep ALL transaction records including private messages, website links, group links and all screenshots you can get. The more info you have the better you are to fight this.
  • If you know the scammer’s home state and/or city, file a police report in their area. This is especially important in building a pattern against them. If you don’t know, call your local non-emergency number police and ask them what to do.
  • File a scam report online with the Federal Trade Commission (US Only)
  • If you paid through one of the personal payment accounts mentioned above, dispute the charge directly on your credit card or bank account through which the money came from, if applicable. If you paid directly from the account balance, there is no recourse using this method.
  • Share your experience with others. As long as you keep everything you share FACTUAL, you can share the information anywhere. DO NOT SHARE FEELINGS OR INACCURATE INFORMATION no matter how you feel about the situation. This only makes you look bad, not the actual scammer. Keep everything verifiably accurate; you don’t want to get in trouble for libel.
Have any other tips or help to share? Share it in the comments below and I’ll update this post as needed.

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