DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There appear to be a wave of scammers using our forum (and presumably many of the other 1500 forums under this empire) to prey on its community.

The scammers target both buyers and sellers.

The scam usually refers to taking the conversation off-site, privately over PM, privately over email, etc. Then some payment method that can't be tracked or can't be refunded.

These scammers are so prevalent in this community, for how few genuine classified posts we have, it's generally safe to presume the majority of people contacting you for buying or selling are just scammers.

What to do:

- Moderators can't see what doesn't happen on the forums, so, insist on as much conversation as possible (aside from personal shipping details) to be done in the thread where at least we have a chance of noticing it's a scam.

- Report any suspicious behavior or accounts. We're banning multiples of these per day. If you find out someone's scamming, report their account.

- Check a buyer or seller's history, if they've been around a while and active in the community, they're probably safe. If they're new, it's not fair to presume they're a scammer, but it's definitely fair to be skeptical that they are. Buying and selling just isn't a big portion of this website.

- Lazy scammy usernames are usually 2 words and then a number. JohnnyBoy18 or whatnot.

- To verify that they even own the item and didn't just take pictures from elsewhere in old threads or the internet, ask for pictures of the item with a post-it note with your username on it and the day's date (i.e. I would today ask a seller to post a picture in the thread with "For MattsAwesomeStuff, Jan 25, 2022" on a post-it note stuck to it). A reasonable seller wouldn't have a problem taking a new picture for you. If they even own the item at all, chances of it being a scam drop by 95%.

- Generally Paypal is fairly safe for buyers, as if it doesn't show up paypal will refund you. Paypal is buyer friendly, not seller friendly. DO NOT USE "FRIENDS AND FAMILY", as this is for people you already trust, there is no buyer protection in this case.

Perhaps others have more tips for secure transactions that they could post below.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
PayPal friends and family is for people you trust already, if sending money via the regular method then the buyer has a months hold placed on the funds and so they will insist on FnF which has no protection for you. Why can't we just remove the selling function, there's Ebay etc for that.

Product Rectangle Font Screenshot Circle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I do think there is some value in the classifieds section. I’ve bought 2 items on here (an hvh250 and an Energica motor combo). I have had very positive experiences both times. I like that when I’ve bought items here, the sellers have been very helpful and offer a lot of advice and knowledge about what I was buying. Also, interesting items come up for sale here that I would not think of searching for on eBay on a regular basis.

Both sellers that I bought from had history going back at least a year. I used PayPal both times—even though for one transaction we met in person. I also talked on the phone extensively with one of the sellers and discussed technical details. Both sellers were very technically knowledgeable, which I find to be a good indicator.

The classified section is how I initially found this forum. I think there is a chance it is a potential draw for people who might then stick around for the projects/discussions.

That being said, I do agree that the forum portion is a lot more important than the classified section.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I have been dealing with a bunch of scammers while trying to buy stuff, and will report them (sorry for not doing so already). Despite that I think the classifieds section is useful, and like the idea of just limiting selling until they have some posts. It should limit a lot of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,970 Posts
- To verify that they even own the item and didn't just take pictures from elsewhere in old threads or the internet, ask for pictures of the item with a post-it note with your username on it and the day's date (i.e. I would today ask a seller to post a picture in the thread with "For MattsAwesomeStuff, Jan 25, 2022" on a post-it note stuck to it). A reasonable seller wouldn't have a problem taking a new picture for you. If they even own the item at all, chances of it being a scam drop by 95%.
"Proof of Life" for EV parts! :LOL:
Funny, but sadly a perfectly reasonable request - good idea, Matt. (y)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just FYI to everyone, I'll be editing the top post with relevant changes and then deleting all replies eventually. I hate when people have to read a whole thread or think they have to read a whole thread to find a complete set of information.

PayPal friends and family is for people you trust already, if sending money via the regular method then the buyer has a months hold placed on the funds and so they will insist on FnF which has no protection for you.
Ahh, right, good stuff, edited the top post.

Why can't we just remove the selling function, there's Ebay etc for that.
It's not my choice.

A long time ago Vertical Scope went around to 1500 car-related forums on the net, and contacted their founders (who, after 15 years had mostly moved on or weren't involved much, but technically "owned" the non-profit community), and offered to buy the forums from them. I don't know who founded this community, but, like many others, they sold out for a few thousand dollars.

Vertical Scope is our new landlord. They're a horrible and incompetent company. They have 100% of administrator access.

There's only 3 of us that are "moderators", and our highest power is to edit or delete posts, or ban users or purge them as spammers. That's it. The ability to create or delete subforums is out of our hands.

Vertical Scope wants each forum to have a classifieds section because they sell partnership bundles to suppliers, ("we have 1500 forums you can use our tools to advertise on, Gold Package is $X"...), so that they can show up and spam our forums with their ads. For busier forums they have more involved suppliers.

When we ask Vertical Scope to make changes, it's often 3-6 months before we can get a reply. They promised when they purchased that there would be staff checking in on the forums "daily", but this is obviously false.

So, with our hands tied, this is all I'm able to influence.

How about no selling or replies to for sale posts until ten forum posts, something like that which is more effort than the average scammer has. Sure they'll find a workaround but it'll reduce the generic ones
Great idea. There used to be a 10-post limit before you could access PMs or something like that, to prevent this. I don't know if that's still the case. But this is why they often use an email address to take things off-site.

In any case, no one in our community has influence over this, hands are tied, Vertical Scope takes months to reply, and years to implement changes even if they agree. Dead end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I got scammed. Here is the long story short, FYI.

Someone on the forum reached out to me and said they just bought this Fiat Fuse from another guy on this forum and he is legit. I have been having problem getting these things so I immediately emailed the guy and he said he had one at a great price. We went back and forth, he sent me a picture of it and it looked good so I paid him, to a second phone number, via Zelle. Then he texted back to say FedEx was going to be more than expected and could I send $30 more. I said no, I'd give $10 more. My suspicions were rising. I paid and he said it was shipping, then nothing more.

Well I paid another company who knew nothing of this guy or Fiat fuses, and they sent the buyer Bitcoin in exchange for this money.

I bitched, complained and threatened these money launderers and got my money back but this scam is elaborate! I am very saavy and been doing internet sales for 20-30 years and never fell for this crap before. Beware!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,096 Posts
PayPal has buyer protection as long as you don't use friends & family.

Not wire, not Zelle, not Venmo. You might as well just send cash in an envelope to a general drlivery post office address...

Never understood how governments allow crypto. Ransomeware, laundering, tax evasion. Even NFT's are laundering schemes.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top