Are you being scammed?

by Shayna on July 20, 2011

Selling online has become a standard way of marketing.  One of the downsides of it is that as a buyer and seller you are made vulnerable to online scams.   We thought that we would give everyone some tips on how to know if you are receiving spam emails regarding your ad(s) placed on RodeoClassifieds.com (or other sites too).  Below are some examples on what to look for:

1) Weird Email Address:  if the email address doesn’t look familiar to you, for example it is from the UK it will likely be a spam email.  If you are unsure you can Google the email to see if someone has reported the email address.  Often someone has already reported that email address as a spam email.

2) They Mention a “Shipping Agent”:  if they include in the email that they will arrange a 3rd party agent to handle all the shipping either to them or to you (depending on who is doing the selling) then you more than likely have a spam.   This is a HUGE hint.

3) They Ask For the Final Price: if they ask for the final price including everything before they ask any types of questions at all, it is a clear indication it is a spam email.

Example:  “Kindly tell me the last price you will sell and am ready to send you reasonable non refundable earnest payment in order to secure the property from other buyers.”

4) They Don’t Ask Questions:  like the above point, if they don’t ask any questions just go right into saying they will buy it, you again are likely dealing with spam.

5) Poor Sentence Structure:  this is probably one of the most obvious tips to give.  If you receive an email that has poor sentence structure, bad spelling or doesn’t make much sense (your ad is for a horse and they mention they are interested in buying your trailer) etc. the email address is likely spam.

6) Conditions: if they are very specific on the conditions of payment, delivery etc. or have very specific questions but they don’t make sense then you are likely dealing with a spam email.

Below is an example of a scam email:

From: role4545@googlemail.com
> To:
>
> Good Day,
>
>
> Thanks to your prompt response and I will love to make an instant
> purchase,so please do withdraw the advert,I don’t mind adding an
> extra $20 for you to take the advert down so that I can be rest
> assured that am in hand of the item.I also want you to know i will be
> making payment via check due to the nature of my job that is time
> consuming leaving me with little or no time, and it will be over night
> payment due to the distance. You don’t need to bother your self with
> the shipment as i will take care of that.At the moment i will need you
> to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing
> of the check.
>
> 1.Your full name
> 2.Your mailing address be it residential or postal address
> 3.Your phone number.
>
> Once again, I will like you to know that you will not be responsible
> for shipping.I will have my mover come over as soon as you have cashed
> the check to pick up the item.
>
> I await your reply

Click here to go to the spam topic on the Forum to help give you some more examples on spam emails.

What can you do to avoid these scam emails?

1) Don’t Reply:  just as simple as that, if you have a suspicion that it is a scam email you got, don’t reply and delete it.

2) Report It: if you want to go to the next step after not replying to the email, copying the email address and report it.  This will also help others become aware of the latest “spammers”  You can post it in our forum or go to the RCMP (in Canada) site to learn how to report the fraud

One of the latest scams is that they want to pay you by Paypal (a very reputable payment gateway).  You will receive a notice saying that the funds have been deposited, but they have actually made a fake email (with Paypal logo) and sent it to you.  There never is any money transferred.

Another common one is that they want to buy your item for $3500 but they will send a money order for $5500 and you are to transfer the difference of $2000 to their shipping agent (they provide bank info).  You transfer the money, they close down the account and you never hear from them again.  Fortunately you will still have your item but you are out the difference you transferred to the shipper.

It is sad there are people out there still doing this.  It means some people are falling for it.  We hope with this article we can save you from replying to these emails and getting yourself in trouble.  Many horses, saddles etc. are sold these days through email and it is a necessary force, its just too bad some are taking advantage of others.

Be aware and follow your instincts.

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