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Scammers - Bunch of vultures I tell you...

MJ the Expat

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I get this sms: Hi. If product is still available, please phone me on this number.

Sorry boet, you can phone me.

Then I get this: I am in Durban. If I pay you from this side will you deliver in Houghton?

Uhm. No. (He has not replied again.)

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The reason the keep coming back to the hub is that it is obviously working.


My old post got lost in the hub changes: Google still has a cached version.


Like any other classified, the Hub is frequented by both scammers and also genuine buyers/sellers.


There is no 100% fool proof way to spot a scammer but using the following points as a guideline will get you 95% of the way there. Each of the following will increase the risk that the other person is a Scammer:


1. The likely have only a few posts on the Hub.


2. Read some of their posts - they are only related to buying and selling and not to ‘cycling in general’.


3. They can be a buyer or a seller.


4. They will use something to lure you in. If you see an ad that gets your blood rushing – alarm bells must go off. They like to advertise stuff that is ‘unused’ because I accidentally bought a R50 000 bike that was the wrong size.


5. There are no photos of the goods provided or the photo's have been pulled off the web - i.e. do a Google search for 'Scott Scale' and if the same picture comes up then he is a scammer. If you don’t trust the photo ask for a follow up one e.g. ask for a close up photo of the drive chain.


6. Scammers are not that interested in the condition of what you are selling or how much in how much it costs.


7. Scammers will use a different name each time so asking in the Forums if 'Gary from Bruma' is a scammer will not help you.


8. Scammers prefer not to answer their cell phone. They prefer to SMS you back.


9. Scammer's email address will be web based. Gary69MTb@gmail.com and not a company domain e.g. MikeK@knowncompanyx.co.za.


10. Scammers use prepaid phones. They will not have an older 082 or 083 number as they are always changing phones. (As some have pointed out this is not a very good indicator). Better yet ask if they have a land line at work you can call them on.


11. Scammers will not meet you in person in a safe place. (And for this reason they won’t list their location on their profile so they can claim to be in another province).


12. Scammers don't pay cash - they claim they will make a deposit or do an EFT. They then deposit a stolen cheque and fax you a forged deposit slip (the wonders of Tipex and a fax machine - Nick Leesen defrauded Bearings Bank of $6 billion using this technique). You need your bank to confirm (in writing) that the money is indeed cash deposited or an EFT transfer. (As some pointed out, this is not foolproof but it is the best method after cash).


13. Never, ever, ever, ever accept a cheque or a bank guaranteed cheque or cash cheque – in fact – if the word cheque is mentioned – make an excuse to have no further dealings.


14. Scammers try and make you perform first - i.e. you must pay first or deliver first - even though you have better references etc. They will normally try and do this near the end of the deal through putting some kind of pressure on you (e.g. threatening to call of the deal).


15. Scammers can be other sorts of criminals too - so inviting them to your house to view is only recommended if they 'fit the profile'.


16. Scammers are experts at feeding you bull. If the details and the deal keep changing get suspicious.


17. Scammers can produce references – they normally open a few accounts on the forum. None of references will have many posts etc.


18. If something (like the price) looks too good to be true - it is BECAUSE IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!


19. The police will not get you your stuff/money back. Scammers are professionals – they do this all day every day. Think how good you are at your job – that is how good they are not getting caught.


20. Scammers laugh their ass off every time they get someone – so please don't be a sucker.

Edited by Just Keep Pedaling
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re #9 - I have a gmail addy - that doesn't make me a scammer...... see my signature for all people I have bought from, but I get your point.


I prefer to keep my private life to my private email and not have it come to my work addy.

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A valuable trick: To add to point 5: generic product images are easily recognizable. Never trust an ad with only generic pics. Then, if you confirm that the image isn't generic, save the image to your PC. Then go to Google, click on 'images' and click on the camera icon (search by image). Upload the saved pic and see where that pic has been used elsewhere on the web.


Also, what I've done previosly before buying products off the hub, I'll ask the seller to take a specific photo for me. For instance, I asked the seller to take a photo of his HRM taking his heart rate and mail it to me.


Still not fail-safe, but it adds credibility.

Edited by P.A.K.
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The wording he used is the same as a known scammer on Gumtree. Google the email address he used and you'll see he's registered as a scammer.

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I always request from everyone I sell too to give me buyer feedback and I gladly return the favour when buying from someone else. Scammers make it really hard for genuine sellers.

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Ek is so twee weke gelede amper gescam!! 'n Ou uit Johannesburg het 'n fiets by my "gekoop" op gumtree. (dit was die eerste teken van 'n scam, want ek het in Kaapstad Gumtree geadverteer) Onthou, as 'n ding nie vir jou reg voel nie, moet dit nie doen nie, want dan is daar iets nie lekker nie!! Hy het nie veel geworry oor courier koste nie (teken nr 2) en hy het nie veel oor die fiets uitgevra nie - OK, ek weet, ek kan nou nog nie glo ek was so stupid om daarvoor te val nie, maar na die tyd "click" mens eers! Die fiets is met 'n false "proof of payment" gestuur na hom toe in Johannesburg - gelukkig kon ek die aflewering stop en het dit laat terugstuur toe ek besef dis 'n scam. Almal is nie so gelukkig nie!! Het nooit gedink iemand sal 'n fiets wil steel nie, maar ek was verkeerd. Kyk uit vir hulle!! Van nou af moet die bank self vir my 'n "proof of payment" stuur as ek iets verkoop!!

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