Don’t get scammed!
Sad but true, there are scammers out there. Here are ways to avoid them:
- Only deal with people that you can meet in person.
- Make sure you’ve actually seen the item that you’re purchasing.
- Do not give out your financial information, including bank account numbers, social security numbers, BitCoin passwords, or eBay/PayPal information.
- You should never wire funds using Western Union, Moneygram, or another wire service – a request to do is a scammer red flag.
- Fake money orders and cashiers checks are a common scammers tool – be aware that banks will hold you responsible when a fake is discovered.
- SonicScoop Classifieds has no involvement in any transaction that takes place – we have nothing to do with handling payments, providing escrow, buyer protection, seller certification, etc…
- Do not get involved in deals that involve shipping or escrow services.
- Don’t submit to a credit or background check without meeting a job interviewer or other agent in person.
Here’s who to notify about fraud or scam attempts:
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center
- FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC
- FTC online complaint form
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- Consumer Sentinel/Military (for reports from services members or their families)
- SIIA Software and Content Piracy reporting
Resources for Ohio residents
- Ohio Attorney General Consumer Complaints
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or 888-495-8501 (toll-free)
If you believe you have defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department.
In the event you suspect that a SonicScoop Classifieds post may be part of a scam, please notify us immediately!
Here’s how to recognize a scam
Most scams will involve one or more of the following:
- An inquiry from someone who is far away — often they’re located in another country.
- Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee” of some sort
- They are unable, or refuse to meet you face-to-face before executing a transaction.
Examples of Scams
- A person claims SonicScoop Classifieds will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR will handle or provide protection for a payment:
- This is a fraudulent claim – SonicScoop Classifieds does not have any role in any transaction.
- The scammer may send an official looking (but fake) email that appears to come from SonicScoop Classifieds, which offers a guarantee, certifying a seller, handling payments.
- A distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier’s check:
- You receive an email that offers to buy your item sight unseen.
- Next, a cashier’s check is offered for your sale item as a deposit for an item or for your services.
- The value of the cashier’s check often far exceeds your item – the scammer offers to “trust” you, and then asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service.
- Be aware that banks will often cash fake checks, and then hold you responsible when the check fails to clear – this sometimes includes criminal prosecution.
- A third party is often involved (such as shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc.).
- Someone requests a wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:
- Some popular “scam bait” items include apartments, laptops, TVs, cell phones, tickets, and other high-value items.
- Often, these scams claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before they can withdraw your money – this is false: once you’ve wired money, it is gone.
- Common countries include: Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Netherlands — but note they could be anywhere.
- An apartment listing may be local, but the landlord/owner is “travelling” or “relocating” and needs you to wire money to them abroad.
- A deal often seems too good to be true, the price is too low, or the rent is below market, etc.
- A distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:
- This is always a scam — the cashier’s check is fake.
- Sometimes this accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes it doesn’t.
- The scammer often asks for your name, address, etc… for printing on the fake check.
- The deal often seems too good to be true.
- A distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service:
- Most online escrow sites are fraudulent, and are operated by scammers.
- To learn more, search Google on “fake escrow” or “escrow fraud.”
- A distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which they will ship goods:
- They says they trust you with the partial payment.
- They may say they have already shipped the goods.
- Once again, the deal often sounds too good to be true.
- A foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers, then wiring them the funds:
- This foreign company may claim it is unable to receive payments from its customers directly.
- You are often offered a percentage of payments received.
- This kind of “position” may be posted as a job, or offered to you via email.