Here are some tips to help you notice scams and fraud in classified ads and across the Internet.
Only deal with people in your area.
If you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid scammers, then only deal with local folk who you can meet face to face. Scam artists will try to contact you from other countries and ask for you to ship your goods to them.
Don’t wire funds (Western Union, Money Gram, etc.).
If someone responds to your ad and wants to pay you using a wire transfer, then DON’T DO IT! You’ll likely never see the money or your item again.
Beware of fake cashier’s checks and money orders.
Scammers will sometimes send you a fake money order that is valued above your asking price. The scammer will ask for you to wire the over-payment back to them. Once your bank realizes the check is fraudulent, you’ll be on the hook. The scammer will get to keep the overpayment you sent them and you’ll feel embarrassed that you fell for it.
Beware of identity theft. Don’t share your private info.
Never ever give out your sensitive personal information to anyone without careful consideration. Identity theft can end up costing you a lot of time and money.
Use caution when accepting relay calls from the hearing and speech impared.
Many people actually have hearing and speech disabilities and need to use relay calls. Unfortunately scammers will often use this method to contact you, pretending to be deaf. Remember it is always better to deal locally and meet face to face.
Avoid shipping and escrow.
There are scammers out there who will use fake, online escrow services, so be careful.
Avoid deals that are too good to be true.
If a deal seems too good to be true, then it usually is! Always use caution with anything that seems too good to be true.
Please understand that OurThriftyNickel.com is a service to help buyers and sellers find one another. OurThriftyNickel.com is not involved in any transactions and can not police the actions of our many users.