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Read before buying! - Tips for Avoiding Scams

Discussion in 'For Sale' started by mctlong, Nov 1, 2016.

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  1. mctlong

    mctlong Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Scams happen. If you suspect a scammer on this site, please report it to a moderator ASAP.

    Tips for avoiding scams –
    1. Ask around. Do you know anyone who has purchased from this seller? Consider opening a thread on this forum asking other members about their experiences with the seller.
    2. Do your homework. Google the seller’s name, business name, phone number, and email address.
    3. Always request photos.
    4. Do a reverse image google search for all photos that the seller gives you to make sure that the images are not stolen.
    5. Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working. Search the address on Google Maps to make sure it actually exists.
    6. If feasible, consider picking up the tortoise rather than shipping.
    7. Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
    8. Don’t judge a person or company by their website; flashy websites can be set up quickly.
    9. Be cautious of unsolicited IMs & e-mail.
    10. Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
    11. Inquire about returns.
    12. If possible, purchase items online using your credit card, because you can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
    13. Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card numbers.
    14. Don't let your gaurd down for a good deal. If an offer seems too good to be true, it's probably a scam.
    More tips to avoid scammers can be found on the FBI website here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    And in the UK the government backed website for finding out more on how to protect yourself is
    https://www.getsafeonline.org/
    mctlong likes this.
  3. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Also ask for a picture next to the tortoise with your name on it. If it's a scammer this will end all ties of communication.
  4. chin_lee

    chin_lee Member

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    I recently had a male from Cameroon trying to sell me some torts but stated he was in Columbus Ohio. His phone number prefix came back to Connecticut. He wanted me to send money by walmart money transfer but then changed to Western Union cash pickup. He gave an email of [email protected] which comes back to a pet store in Cameroon. I never did take him seriously and wanted to play along to see what tactics he employed. To summarize:

    If seller pressures you to do western union for cash pickup only at a store front with quick timeline or "somebody else will buy the product", start getting suspicious.
    Call the number they give you and if it gets directed to a global transfer service, get even more suspicious.
    Search every piece of information they give you because eventually they will need to give some info to get the money from anyone.
    And if the seller calls you "bro" or "dude" in every form of communication, be very very suspicious :)
  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Anything from Cameroon is a scam 99.9% of the time, if not 100% of the time.
  6. coshepard

    coshepard Member

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    thanks, that was really helpful! We'll be careful out there!:D
  7. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I can't stand scammers and I'm seeing a LOT of scams involving Tortoises lately both here and other sites. People, please use your better judgement. Beware of new members. Before sending money to anyone ask for a picture of the animal with a piece of paper next to it with the date written on it. Scammers can't provide this because most of the time their using stolen pictures. If they want to use Western Union, big red flag. Also in the adoption forum please be careful of who's responding. If the person recently joined and every one of their posts is trying to acquire a free Tortoise, big red flag. If they say they have other tortoises, or nice enclosures, or plenty of land etc, get pictures! Use your better judgement and be careful.
    samkerns1 and Melis like this.
  8. Scott350

    Scott350 Member

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    Thanks for the tips.
  9. MPappagallo

    MPappagallo Active Member

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    Great information. Thanks so much!
  10. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    We (the moderators) installed a rule for the 4 sale section of 30 days before you can post there to help cut down on scams.
    MPappagallo likes this.

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