Thread Closed 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
06-21-2011, 06:00 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 07:14 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #1
How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: PMtbCV.png]

Introduction:

I believe this topic needs some much updates and clarifications.
It's very common knowledge that where there are sales, there are scammers.
Sadly, there isn't any miracle to get rid of scamming, but there is power in knowledge.
Scammers come in many shapes and sizes, a big way to avoid them is to know how to spot them.

Goals:

For members, both new and old, to take something away and learn how to be safer when doing transactions.
I greatly hope that this greatly cuts down on the amount of scamming forum wide.


What I want from you:

Please be respectful in my thread and don't argue or flame.
This thread was made for the protection of all the HF members, as stated, I'd also like your input and suggestions.
Please send suggestions to my inbox so we can keep this thread fairly clean and organized, I spent a lot of time on this.
Lastly, please do not report my posts for "Double Posting" this is done so that the thread is easy to navigate.


Index:

  • When a Deal is Too Good
  • Researching a User
  • Observe the User’s Quality
  • Only Look at Vouches from BitForums
  • Read the Entire Post and Terms of Service
  • Verifying the User’s Messenger Email
  • Request Proof | Teamviewer and Signs
  • Understand What You Are Buying & Keep Records
  • Middle Men and Escrows
  • Keeping Your Identity Safe
  • Payment Methods[/url]
  • All You Need To Know About Buying A Gamertag


Credits:
Xypher - For the Text Graphics
Deities - For Formatting Ideas
]H0p.e- For Our Conversation
Atthacker- For Allowing the ToS Picture.


Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:04 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 07:15 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #2
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: j1qlez.png]

Yes, this may seem obvious and something you've been fed since a child, but this is something that should definitely not be overlooked by a buyer, or even a seller.
You should look at the original post, then at the poster and ask yourself, "What's the catch?"
More than often, if it is much cheaper, it is stolen or gotten by illegal means.
Now depending on the product, this may be ok, but you need to make sure you can secure it if that's the case.
You should do research into the user that you are inquiring to buy or sell to; This will be talked about in our next section.
With BitForums being such a huge site and revolving around the world of currency, many accounts and products may be loot from their actions.

It doesn’t hurt to go into a sale’s thread with skepticism, but please try and be respectful and use ALL of the information in my you gather in my thread.
Much of being safe in doing a deal is having a cynical outlook upon the world and the internet.
You need to know that a lot people aren't who they put themselves out to be and who they say they really are.
Being cynical isn’t a crime, but don’t always get into a paranoid mindset, and staying in this mindset can lead to aggravation among the forum.
Lastly, you may want to view their threads to see how the success of their previous sales went.
If there are multiple unsuccessful threads selling the same item, it is usually a bad sign and they may be best to avoid.


[Image: iua5sL.png]
One of the first things you should do when you are talking interest in dealing with a user is to research them. This can be done in several different ways.
The first and most obvious way since it stands out in every post is the user’s rep.
Sadly, the rep system, like most things in the world, is not perfect.
You need to dig through and find relevant reputation because on BitForums, reputation can be highly abused.
The first thing you should look for is to see if the Vouch System is up and running and to use that as the first way to get to know the user you are dealing with.
The next thing you need to is sort through legit reputation, revenge reputation, and reputation abuse.
Once you go through the user’s reputation, you should have an overall view of the user and his actions and/or likeness if the reputation system holds up.
The next thing that you should do is to research their current and past names for scam reports.
BitForums has a section dedicated to when deals go wrong called “Deal Disputes”. There is a thread regarding the layout format of a scam report.
In case you are having trouble finding it, here it is:

Code:
1. Link to the scammer’s profile. This is to prevent confusion if a username change occurs.
2. Link to the thread in question if it exists where you may have been scammed.
3. Search Scam Reports area for any existing threads with the scammer. Search by username and also uid. If everyone adds the users profile then UID will be very effective.
4. Post any images/screenshots that you can provide as evidence of the scam. Best option is to use the spoiler tags for images.

You should make sure to flip through the pages of the Deal Dispute section as well as searching their username in the Search Bar of HF.
Look to see if the reports have been closed or resolved as well as look to see if the claims are legitimate.
If there is even one scam report, you should most likely proceed with caution.

Lastly, you should do research on the user’s MSN and/or paypal. This part is where Google is your best friend.
Search their email and look to see if there is any controversy surrounding it or even if the account that posted the email was banned.
Encountering a banned account that posted the email is a bad sign and means you should definitely proceed with caution.

Here is an example of how you should search their email:
[Image: jEvWy.PNG]

Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:07 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 06:40 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #3
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: EAyxgJ.png]
This is more prevalent than most of you would think.
In general, most scammers have fairly bad grammar that even users that learned English as a second language could point out.
Also be aware of the user telling you about "past experiences". The user will probably flat out refuse to go first due to expressing being scammed in the past.
I'd say over half of the people relaying this have the intention of scamming.
A lot of the times scammers will make up excuses, some of which I will insert here in a code box:

Code:
[User A: Hey man, I sent the money!]
[User B: Great, let me check!]
Situation A: [User B: Awww man, my internet is bugging out…]
Situation B: [User B: Huh, that’s weird, I can’t login to my PayPal account]
Situation C: [User B: I didn’t receive the payment, did you send it to the right address?]
Situation D: [User B: User B has logged off. Any messages sent will be sent once they come back.]

You can catch my drift by now. This is where capturing screenshots of the conversation comes in handy.
Screen capturing and keeping logs are discussed in another section, see the Index.
Remember, if you feel uneasy about something, it’s your decision on whether to go through with the deal or not.
If at any time something about the user you are dealing with seems odd, just simply back away.


[Image: jXmxOe.png]

Users may come to HF from other sites and bring with them "vouches" from that other site.
What you have to take into consideration is that there is nothing for them to lose in a new forum.
On very rare occasions, a successful business man may venture to HF with pure intentions, but it's usually pretty unlikely.
Users need to make their own start here just like everyone else, having vouches in other forums does not mean that they will not scam here on HF.
Most of us here have had to fight from the bottom to make a name for ourselves here, and no exception should be made for anyone.
By working your way up, you learn the ropes and are more closely linked with the site.
As user spends more and more time here, the incentive of scamming that they may have come with tends to dissipate.
By gaining trust and working your way up, you come to appreciate the forum and tend to stay for honest business practices.

Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:08 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 06:44 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #4
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: IXRaNL.png]
There can be a lot of confusion and frustration when it comes to buying products, especially very popular ones.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the product be reading the ENTIRE post.
Go and read through all of the people who have purchased the product as well and note things such as how happy they are with the product, customer support, and so on.
Make sure that you read the Terms of Service, often abbreviated to ToS.
The user will often have refund policies, guarantees, and that they aren't responsible for your actions.
Ignorance is not a defense for when you are unhappy with a product.
If the seller clearly had addressed certain things in their ToS, then you accepted them when you bought the product, and sadly there is nothing that can be done.
Terms of Service is often used to protect the seller or company, it's pretty much like signing an online contract.



[Image: Jbn9uo.png]
[color=black][size=small][font=Trebuchet MS]Perhaps one of the simplest ways the users get scammed is because they don't make sure to get the users messager email in a PM.
If you do not use this, there is a possibility that you could deal with an impersonator, or even the person you are trying to contact, using a different alias.
Make sure to always request a PM from to ensure your safety in the trade.
If someone on a chat service refuses to PM you, it is usually an imposter.
This brings me directly into another point in the Index, keeping your identity safe.
You should always make sure that the I.Ds match up perfectly.
Again, if something seems fishy about their MSN or the way they are going about when talking to you on MSN, just back away.


Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:13 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 07:15 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #5
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: KVwsLG.png]

There are plenty of people advertising that they are selling something, but they do not always truly have what they say.
Request for proof in trades that they own the account, product, program you are buying.
Doing this will prevent any hassle or scamming that may occur.


[Image: icOAjs.PNG]

You can also use a program called "TeamViewer" which allows remote access to a user's computer.
Make sure that you inform yourself about "TeamViewer" because some people will try and download viruses or do things to your computer.
Make sure you gather knowledge about all the settings before using it and be very cautious.
Here is a list provided of some recommended settings, there may be more as I am not the greatest with Teamviewer or TV:

Code:
Go to extras -> options
Security -> Access Control - > Custom Settings
Right below that configure, use these settings
View Screen:  Mark: Allowed
Remote Control: Mark: After Confirmation
File Transfer: Mark: After Confirmation
VPN connection: Mark: After Confirmation
Partner can disable local input: Mark: After Confirmation or Denied
Partner can control local TeamViewer: Mark: Denied

After applying these settings it is harder for someone with malicious intentions to infect you.
All in all, only use the program with a person you can seemingly trust.
There are also many people that sell products around HF that use TV for customer support.

Another popular method is to have the user make a sign with their BitForums Username in it with their product.
By getting someone to make a sign, it help prove that they at least have the product.
The downside to this is that from there, you have to continue with caution or inlay trust that the user will in fact give it to you once you purchase it.
This method, as well as the other methods talked about in this section, is only to prove ownership.
You should still proceed with caution to ensure you don’t get taken by the user for easy money.


[Image: 0RpqIy.png]

Know what you are buying. Don't go and buy something you are completely new about, gather information.
Also know the ins and outs of the item you are buying or selling.
Don't buy something if it seems like it could easily be recovered, it is very risky and hard to prove who recovered it.
Always inform yourself of what you are buying, there is no harm in asking questions.
Many bad situations start off between a buyer and a seller when there wasn’t proper communication about the product in question.
This can be avoided by being thorough and gather informative when you are making your purchase.
Make sure to do things such as take screen shots or use a program that comes installed on Vista and Windows 7 called “Snipping Tool”.
I will enclose a link of a tutorial to screen shot for those whose don’t know how to do it. A Great Step-By-Step Screen Shot Tutorial.

Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:16 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 06:50 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #6
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: 3WgCBA.png]

In a world full of such peril and worry, sites have developed a way to make exchanges in a safe manner. This is called a Middle Man or an Escrow.
The job of a Middle Man is to take the contents being exchanged by both parties and then giving them to each other to assure both the item and the money get to the other party.


Using an Escrow has a much smaller risk than any other option on Hack Forums.
While trust is something hard to come by on the internet, an Escrow has very little to gain in taking advantage of their customers.
While there may be some free Escrows out there either now, or in the future, paid Escrows do it as a business rather than looking for a big deal to score from.

For the absolutely best route of trading, in my opinion, would be to use and Escrow whenever possible.

You need to make sure your Middle Man is taking necessary precautions to make sure the exchange will be safe.


[Image: NXERvK.png]

As previously mentioned, you should always ask for a PM from the user you are dealing with.
Try and refrain from posting your screen names and leave it to messages only.
You can even use the PM system to work your deals out since it the chat will be saved and easy to document.
Impersonation is always a huge problem with big sellers, so keep your messenger name safe.
Don’t do things such as post your MSN address all around the forum. Doing such a thing will result in your email being targeted by scammers or even people freezing MSN accounts.
The same thing applies to posting your messenger I.D. in your signature as well.
It’s best to have to PM someone than to have the constant hassle of dealing with impersonators and random messages throughout the day.

Find all posts by this user
06-21-2011, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2011 07:16 PM by BitScope.)
Post: #7
RE: How to Trade Safely and Avoid Scammers
[Image: 50gAWO.png]
PayPal

There are several types of payment methods floating around on the internet. By far most popular is PayPal due the publicity and it being owned by Ebay.
PayPal can come with many issues to users. The most common problems people run into is account limitations as well as chargebacks.
For those who don’t know, an account limitation prevents the accepting of money, the sending of money, the inability to close your account, as well as a limited review to your reports.
The more prevalent to scamming would be the infamous “chargeback”.
A chargeback is where a user that has paid you attempts to reverse a transaction by saying they did not receive their product or there was an “Unauthorized Transaction”.
This can become quite the hassle for most users, but there are some solutions. Make sure to have buyers put something in the note if you are sending as a “gift”.
A simple message like, “This payment is for an intangible item online, and cannot be shipped” can help make the difference between winning and losing a dispute.
Also when you notice that money has been withheld, go and look at the reasoning behind it.
If there is something along the lines involving “PayPal”, then the money is being withheld due to the user who sent the money having their account limited.
Sadly, there is little that you can do about someone else’s limitations.
So, here are some tips to avoid getting limited. You should use your real information if it is a legitimate PayPal.
If you are not going to be dealing with some “Blackhat Activities” with PayPal, I’d highly advise this.
Using your real information provides you a quick and easy way to verify your account; unverified accounts lead to a quick limitation, so it’s in your best interest to be honest.
I would also suggest verifying your account with your bank account, if you are going to be dealing a lot, you’ll have much more leverage on PayPal if you have a Bank Verified account.
If you follow these tips and still get limited, simply give PayPal a call and complain, keep calling until you find someone sympathetic that will help you out.
Lastly, avoid taking or sending payments to unverified accounts because if they get limited, more than likely your money will be in PayPal limbo.
For additional information, check out the link disclosed: Limitation Help

I have never had any issues with PayPal besides my initial limit years ago since I did violate their ToS.
This brings me back to the point I mentioned earlier, make sure to read the Terms of Service.


Liberty Reserve


A growing payment method around BitForums is Liberty Reserve.
Liberty Reserve is becoming quite popular here for one reason, there are no chargebacks like there are in PayPal.
For this reason, it makes it much more difficult for a user to scam when paying with Liberty Reserve, often referred to as LR.
The downside to this is that it can invoke stand offs.
If a user pays for something and doesn’t receive the item, there is no way to get their money back.

More information about this payment method will be added shortly.

Alert Pay

To be added once I gather more information, this payment method is rarely used here.
Sorry about this, guys.

Plimus

To be added once I gather more information, this payment method is rarely used here.
Sorry about this, guys.

Money Exchanging
[Graphic to be added]


Something that has become popular over time here at HF is money exchanging.
Money exchanging becomes popular because there are various products and items sold around here in which the seller desires a certain payment method.
Most commonly requested is Liberty Reserve to PayPal, or PayPal to Liberty Reserve.
There are things you have to watch out for with this kind of trade, most of which was discussed above.
Each payment method has their rules, regulations, benefits, and downfalls.



There isn't much of a difference between the worries talked about in the Payment Methods section and the Money Exchange.

You need to be careful for Chargebacks if you are involving PayPal.
Since there is no way to chargeback Liberty Reserve, people will often say they will not go first in any circumstance.
This is what leads to a lot of controversy, it becomes strictly a trust game for the lack of better words.
There may be a few people here have gained quite a bit of trust, but if you are like me, you are always leery of any member.

I would suggest using Xch4ng3's if you had any nervousness at all of couldn't find a good person to deal with.
In my opinion, 10-20% is much better than losing 100% of your money.
There are people that have great dealings with PayPal and wouldn't have much issue to chargeback, so you should really use a popular exchanger if you are nervous in the slightest.

More will be clear once I add the details about AlertPay.
If you are dealing with an exchange involving something other than PP, AP, or LR things can get more complicated.
Things such as MoneyBookers and Western Union are not usually done here, yet will be added later on the off chance you encounter it.



This is the end of my thread, safe trading guys!
I truly hope this helps.
Find all posts by this user
Thread Closed 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)