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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.
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