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Buyers Beware - Scams Are Out There
Like the old adage that "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." If you come across a deal that sounds like way too much of a bargain it should start raising flags. Yes there are deals out there to be had but if you follow some simple steps it can be a pleasurable buying experience rather then one of disbelief that you just lost hundreds of dollars to a scam artist.
As the picture I made is for representation purposes only and some would jump off their seat in a heartbeat to scoop up a tractor with a loader for $200. I know I would, but this is how they lure you in, they have something posted for sale or they contact you about something you have posted that you are looking for.
It is always a decent deal that they offer but there is always one catch. They want you to western union money or send a money order to a post office box, they may even have you send it to a real address with the promise that they will either ship it to you as soon as they receive payment. They might even use the tactic that "They trust you that you will send the payment so they will go ahead and get the item shipped" which gives you that false sense of trust. Now you have that false sense of trust so you send them the payment in the method they asked for.
So what do you do if you happen to be one of the unlucky ones that have fallen for the scam? Contact your local police is the first thing that you should do. When it tends to be the same person scamming people the more reports the better. The next thing you can do is post on sites like GTtalk or on other forums and let people know, give as many details as possible, but don't share personal information.
So what can you do to prevent this from happening to you? There are quite a few things and I will try and list them all and I am sure I will miss a few. There is one though that would pretty much guarantee that it won't happen and that is going to be the first one that I list.
- Never send money to someone to purchase an item through a money gram service like Western Union. It is one thing if it is your kid in college and they need some cash but don't ever send money like this to someone you never met.
- Never send a money order to someone you never met offering something for sale.
- If it is a transaction that required shipping use paypal or another escrow service. There are scams that happen even with paypal but the chances are much less then sending a money gram.
- Only do a transaction in person
- Try to refrain from posting your phone number or email address allowing the scammer to contact you directly. Make them use other methods to contact you like eBay's messenger, or a private message system like GTtalk uses. This way messages would be logged, their ip addresses tracked and can be used by police to aid in finding the criminals and as a documentation trail. Sites like GTtalk, eBay, Paypal and others do abide to police requests for information regarding catching criminals.
It is hard to pass up on a good deal but use your thinking cap and remember scammers are out there.
As for the picture of my Massey 1655 with the loader,.... No it is not for sale.
- larryd said thank you