Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Guide To Safe Trading

Scammers are everywhere, and it's very hard to spot them. Sometimes, even the most trustworthy looking member will attempt to scam.
This guide will help you catch out the con men, and stop you being scammed for your hard earned money.

How to spot a scammer

Scammers all work in different ways, but there are some similarities about their actions, here are some things to look out for while making a trade.
  • Grammar: A lot of scammers operate in foreign countries, and it's usually noticeable by their poor grammar. It is advised to trade only with members of the same country where the laws are the same for the both of you.
  • Stories: This is used very often. The scammer will lure you in with a sympathy-inducing story. This is a highly successful method. If the person you are trading with are legitimate, their personal life will not be mentioned during the trade.
  • Find references to third parties: Many times, scammers will reference clients, secretaries, personal assistants, bank associates or other individuals who don't have anything to do with the transaction. The addition of these people in your correspondence is supposed to trick you into thinking that the transaction is very important. Scammers may also include in their correspondence fake forwarded emails from these supposed people. Remember, the trade is between you and them only.
  • Pay attention: Scammers sometimes attempt to confuse potential victims by including a lot or irrelevant information in their correspondence so that the scam will be easier to complete. Sometimes ask them to repeat things they have said, if it's not the same as before, you're probably dealing with a scammer. If anything seems a little ''off'', cancel the trade.
  • Follow your instincts, if you think you're dealing with a scammer, you probably are.
  • Don't be rushed into anything: Scammers will often hurry you to trade, saying if the transaction isn't completed now, someone else will make the trade.

Securing a safe trade

Never pay for anything before a job is complete or you have received the item in trade. Here are some ways to get proof of ''completed'' jobs.
  • Use a trusted middleman
Middlemen are in the middle of the transaction. For example, if you are paying $5 for a program, the middleman will receive your $5 and the program, and then forward them either side.
Both of you must trust the middleman involved.
Remember, if your client declines a middleman, cancel the trade immediately, they are probably a scammer.
  • Teamviewer
Nothing is better than seeing the proof with your own eyes. Teamviewer allows you to see other peoples computers, anywhere. You can use this get proof of a completed job, E.G- A hacked email account.
If the client you are dealing with is not a scammer, they will not have any objection to this.

You can download Teamviewer from here.


Some scammers are extremely clever, and can pull off a con even if you follow the above steps. Here are some tips to get justice easier if you are scammed.
  • Take Screenshots
Anything that could be used as proof of you being scammed, take a screenshot of it. This can include online conversations, paypal transactions ect. Doing this will make it a lot harder for the scammer to talk their way out of the situation.
  • Record Every Conversation
During conversations about a trade, record it and save it. It can be used as evidence against the scammer.
  • Do no post your IM publicly
When asking in a thread to be contacted, do not post your IM. Anyone can fake a member here and if you publically post then it will be easy for someone to fool you into thinking they are a trusted member. It's suggested anyone that does contact you via IM you confirm their HF identity with a PM on the site.

That's all for now, I'm sure I'll add more in time, scammers always think of new methods to con you.

Remember, if you doubt anything about the trade, do not complete it! 

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions? Feel free to post a comment!


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