Public Service Announcement
How to Reduce Your Chances of Being Scammed
I see scam after scam after scam on Facebook and thought I would take a few minutes to try and help the community that most of us love and respect.
There are many ways that you can reduce the amount of exposure you face when dealing with people over social media. I’m not saying that my ways are foolproof and that you will never fall victim to a sophisticated scammer, but I am saying that your chances of losing your hard earned money will be drastically reduced if you follow a few very simple rules. If you are dealing with a legitimate seller, there is no reason that they would object to working the way that makes you feel most comfortable.
1. This is a rule I do not budge on. Period. Always pay with PayPal Goods and Services. Always. I don’t care what reason the seller gives me, if they can’t accept that, no deal. There is a seller out there that does use this method and that is who will get my money. Sure, it takes out 3% from their end. 3%!!! That is $3.00 for every $100.00 you spend. Yet you have buyers and sellers trying to avoid this. If your seller has that big of an issue with 3% and you really want whatever it is they are selling, cover the fees! If you can’t afford the 3%, you can’t afford what you are buying. I would rather pay an extra 3% and know that if there is an issue I can get my money back than lose it all.
If you choose to pay with cash app, Venmo, messenger, or any other way, you have little to no recourse. Period. Read the posts on this page and 9/10 times, Venmo, FF, cash app, or some other method not designed to buy goods was used. This is not coincidence. There is a reason PayPal asks you if you are buying a good or service OR sending to someone you trust. Why do people completely ignore this?
2. Fund the purchase through PayPal with a credit card. This is an additional layer of protection. Don’t use a debit card. Don’t use your PayPal balance. Use a credit card. If for some reason there is an issue and PayPal doesn’t side with you, your credit card company will back you 99.99% of the time. You are their customer and they want to keep it that way. Your CC company has zero loyalty to the other party.
3. Take two seconds to look at the profile of the person you are dealing with. I look at a lot of the profile links here and just from the profile picture I wouldn’t do business with most of them. If it is a new profile, very few friends, or has a picture of themselves looking like they just put the meth pipe down to take their profile picture, you should probably think about if this is the type of person you would trust with your money. Usually fake profiles will not have places of work, family members, etc. listed. All of these are things I am aware of when stalking someone’s page.
4. Ask them to coin the photo. Ask them to put your name on it. Again, a legitimate seller wouldn’t have this issue.
5. Ask for vouches and I’m not talking about their buddy that is doing keg stands with them in their photo album. Actually reach out to the person that is vouching for them and talk to them. Understand how their deal went and if there were any issues.
6. Exchange phone numbers and hop on a call. I feel like I can tell a lot about a person by the way they speak. I also feel like I can hear desperation. Picking up the phone is a lost art. Having their phone number will prove useful if there is an issue.
7. How does the person you are considering sending your money to write in messages? If every other word is “brah” and “lemme” or “finna,” we ain’t finna be doing no business brah, lemme find someone else. Do you trust someone who talks like that to actually go to the post office and speak with someone intelligently to try and track down a lost package? But hey, it’s your money.
8. Use common sense. If it is too good to be true, it usually is. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, guess what....it’s a duck. Don’t be scared to walk from a deal. This person doesn’t have anything you can’t find online a million different places, unless it is a 1/1 card.
9. Check the scammer lists available and search the posts on this page for the person you are working with. Hint, you shouldn’t find their name.
10. Save ALL communication until a deal is completed. This should be common sense, but again, most of the people who are scammed admit to not using common sense during the deal for whatever reason. Texts, messenger conversations, Facebook posts, save them all.
That’s it. Again, not fool proof, but I can assure you that your chances of being ripped off will be greatly reduced if you take a step back, slow down, and follow a few simple guidelines to buying and trading things online with people you do not know personally. There will always be exceptions, but they should be far and few between, and nowhere near as common as what is posted on this page.