The Advisors 

  Buyer Beware, Seller be on your guard against Fraud!

On the internet there are many frauds and scams. Unfortunately, the criminal element are trying to cash in. They would like to get their hands on your goods and money. The good news is, to the best of our knowledge, no  individual has been caught by one of these fraudsters when advertising with us.

So what you should look out for:-

Knowledge, it is often said, is power. So if you can develop a sense of how these frauds work you will be less vulnerable. However, by their very nature such frauds are ever developing and these details are by no means definitive. If you do receive fraudulent emails please check where they originally got your details from.

These scams and frauds are a world wide internet activity.

Firstly, if you are contacted by such people the introductory email can be written badly and in Pidgin English.  But, the more sophisticated they become the more they use professionally written emails. The individual is generally abroad "with someone owing him or her money". They also need to use a 'shipping agent'. The email will often start "Good day" or "Greetings" and urge you to communicate quickly and end "hope to hear from you soonest", "God bless" etc. But please remember the majority of trade is legitimate.

Some golden rules are:-

1) Not to accept cheques. Especially "Cashiers Cheques or Checks". Cheques are a favourite fraud and the typical current scam involves accepting payment by cheque (often for more than the advertised price of the item) and a shipping agent picking up the goods (and any difference over the asking price). The cheque may subsequently prove to be no good at all.

2) Do not pay for goods unseen. Buying goods without seeing them or putting holding deposits on them is the quickest way of losing money. Even with your own countrymen I'm afraid. We find fraudsters advertising goods that do not really exist. They can even send pictures or simply copy adverts from another site. If you have a 'Wanted' advert be extra careful.
3) Try to establish title and if you can't, don't proceed.

4) Establish the individual's identity and address. Try and verify it. Take note of vehicle registration numbers if possible.

5) Sadly it does not mean that "cash is King". One seller took his buyer to the nearest cash machine and waited in his car. The buyer went to the machine and came back and paid for the goods in counterfeit money. He must have had the counterfeit on him all the time!

6) Always exchange receipts.

7) Take legal advice.

Don't be scared into inactivity though as the overwhelming majority of transactions are in good faith and conducted between good, honest and honourable individuals.

If you still remain in doubt then going to a trader or employing the services of a brokerage can have many enhanced safeguards.

Here are two sites that may offer help

The above information was gleaned from a reputable company with a good track record.   I can recommend them


John Williams



Hit Counter   reset Sept 2003