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> General Buy-Sell Forum Rules


> Your Guide To Avoid Scammers, NECRO EXEMPT
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post Jan 12 2007, 07:43 AM
Post #1

The New Guy on the Block isn't so new anymore...

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Note: This section does not include sales items, but I simply want to help my fellow airsofters avoid scammers. I believe more people who become scammed check in this Sale section rather than in the General section. I am going to point out a few scenarios and helpful advice to avoid scams.


Lately, I have noticed an increase of scams in the classifieds section. Every time I read a post about how someone lost hundred of dollars because someone stole their airsoft gun, I cringe, both with frustration against the scammer, and even for the person scammed. I would like to do my part to help stop this immoral activity and prevent scammers from cheating others.

Often times, you’ll see scammers trying to trick you. Don’t assume everyone who’s selling a gun actually has it. In fact, a better theory is to assume that the person DOES NOT have the item they’re ‘selling.’ Ask for proof of the purchase. Request pictures that depict everything, pay using secure methods (avoid sending pure cash to unknown locations), and keep all e-mails and receipts for proof. Inquire about the condition of the item and make sure the seller isn’t hiding anything from you that is negative. The best protection you have is your own judgment. Use your common sense; if the deal seems fishy, then do not risk anything and cancel the deal immediately. It can’t hurt to cancel the deal. As the old proverb goes: ‘better to be safe than sorry.’ Stealing your gun or stealing your money is the scammer’s fault, but it is your responsibility to prevent the situation. Be smart, use your common sense, and prevent scammers from obtaining their goal: to cheat you.

Here are some of my strategies that I use to prevent scammers:

1. First ask for condition of gun and any details, including what the buyer may be hiding from you. Condition, number of rounds through it, damage, upgrades, parts used or broken, and age.

2. Ask for pictures.

3. Ask for proof of purchase. My strategy is that I ask for a picture with a random number in it that I give to them. I ask them to write a random 5 digit number on a card or paper and take a photo with the number. Sometimes scammers steal other people's photos. My strategy helps in preventing scammers from stealing and using someone else's photo.

4. Familiarize yourself with the item being traded and compare your research with the seller's statements. If the seller does not know what they're talking about, they might not even own the item and are cheating you.

5. Use secure payment such as PayPal. It is insured and records are kept. Cold cash is very instable and unsecure and the other can easily take it and claim they never got the cash. Money orders are more secure than cash, but the other can still take it and claim they never got the payment.

6. Request personal information BEFORE the deal goes through. Phones, e-mail, fax, address, everything.


Now, I will tell a story of how I ALMOST got scammed by an African operation:

When I was selling my M15A4 Rifle, I received a broken-English e-mail from a person claiming they wanted to buy my airsoft gun. The grammar and spelling was so difficult to understand, I spent more time trying to udnerstand it than send a response back. The guy callousely ignored my request for secure payment and ignored my reqpest for personal information, including a name. Eventually, he claimed he lived in the United Kingdom. With each e-mail, he wrote a religious statement such as "There is only one ..." or "Be faithful and you shall be received." I am not religious and I found his statements extremely offensive, but he ignored my requests to stop spreading his religion. All he wanted was my Rifle.

After a month of trying to gleam information from him, I tried to give up on the deal. He kept insisting he wanted to pay by check, which I know carries a high risk of scams. All the while, he told me a false story of how his family is starving and poor, and robbers come to steal their possessions. He needed my gun for 'protection,' which would not be much protection at all. 6mm pellets cannot kill a robber... His next story said he was a businessman who traveled a lot, and he needed my gun for protection. A poor, starving man who can afford to travel around the world? And why would he be walking around with a 5 foot long airsoft gun? With each inconvenience, I tried to terminate the deal. Each time, he raised his offer for my gun by 25, then 50, then 100, until it was 50 dollars over the highest retail price. Long before this, I was suspicious of his actions.

He randomly sent payment without my permission in the form of a check. He ignored my requests for asking how much he wrote the check for. We didn't even agree on a shipping price. Shipping for a large package over the Atlantic is expensive as everyone knows.

His first payment was given with a UPS tracking number. My hopes rose because he had provided a valid number. However, I was suspicious why he sent a letter by UPS, which is primariy a parcel company. His first payment got stuck in Kentucky...and never moved for two weeks. The number currently says it is still in Kentucky bound for my destination.

The second payment was sent towards the end of the second month. He ignored my requests for tracking. When I received it, I was shocked. Firstly, the check said $5000. He sent a $5000 for a $545 package. Immedietly, I knew it was a scam. The Federal Reserve's check system places customer convenience before security. If I were to cash the check, then send my M15A4 and send the remainder after my deduction to the buyer, the check would have bounced, leaving me with a $4455 debt and no airsoft gun. His excuse was he had to buy some coffer (or did he mean 'coffee?' I don't know, his English was so horrible) tables in California. A poor, starving man sent a $5000 check to buy tables and an airsoft gun?

Some other warning signs were on the check. There was no return address on the envelope, the check's holder's name did not match the signature or my buyer, the stamp came from South America, the man was supposedly from the UK, the bank the check came from was Chinese and is located only in Texas, and an investigator who examined my letter said the check came from Africa. Really? This is a scam.

I found another buyer who was much more cooperative, and so I traded my M15A4 for a glorious UMG package.


So, if you ever receive a check or payment several hundred dollars above your asking price, turn the offer down and report the person. While the check clears, you send your items, including the remainder of the money. Then, a letter from your bank says your check bounced, and now you owe them $4500 by the end of the week.


Here are some warning signs of scams:

-The seller has no pictures to prove the existence of the item he is selling
-The seller lacks sufficient knowledge of his own item he is selling
-The brand of the gun is unknown or is not even listed
-The gun condition hasn’t been described
-There is not enough information regarding the accessories of the package
-Asking price is unusually low
-Asking price is unnaturally high
-Seller lacks communication skills to contact buyers or meet their requests
-Incredibly rare or discontinued item at extremely low price
-Condition of gun does not match asking price
-Payment type is in pure cash form
-Item location is in foreign country and seller requests check as payment
-Payment in form of check is above asking price

Any suspicion at all, and the deal should be cancelled. Better to be safe than sorry. Stop scammers. It's their fault and their actions that are illegal, but you can easily avoid the scams. It is your responsibility to avoid the scam. If you fall for it, it's your own fault. So, please stop these crimes and prevent scammers from taking advantage of our fellow airsofters. The sales and trades of airsoft guns are important in our sport; it is unfortunate people take advantage of it, but we should work to prevent these crimes. If moderators could close and ban all scammers more, if we could report more scammers, and if we could set up a "scamer list," more appropriately known as "hall of shame," the number of scams would decrease, and maybe even cease here at ASF, and at other classifieds for airsoft.


Moderators, if this topic is not appropriate for the Sales section, then you may delete. I want to do my part to make these forums a better place, and I'm sure all of you want to do the same. Your actions and authority keep this forum in order and make this a better forum for all; your response to this thread is greatly appriciated, whatever you decide to do.

This post has been edited by airborne101: Feb 24 2013, 01:39 PM

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Posts in this topic
- New Guy on the Block   Your Guide To Avoid Scammers   Jan 12 2007, 07:43 AM
- - kutabare   Great guide; I found it extremely helpful. I parti...   Jan 12 2007, 01:58 PM
|- - StarvinMarvin   QUOTE (kutabare @ Jan 12 2007, 02:58 PM) ...   Jun 23 2008, 12:23 PM
- - Allizard   Yeah.. it does bother me when the seller can't...   Jan 12 2007, 09:05 PM
- - kiki-jiki   QUOTE (New Guy on the Block @ Jan 12 2007, 07...   Jan 13 2007, 02:36 AM
- - Airsoft Monkey   I like the guide, But I need to add this. Paypal ...   Jan 13 2007, 02:56 AM
- - New Guy on the Block   Paypal is the most secure form available as of now...   Jan 13 2007, 09:53 AM
- - p8ntslinger   Just remember with Paypal the Seller has to Prove...   Jan 13 2007, 11:46 AM
|- - Allizard   QUOTE (p8ntslinger @ Jan 13 2007, 08:46 A...   Jan 13 2007, 02:02 PM
- - EvilJester   Postal Money orders are probably the safest in ter...   Jan 13 2007, 03:43 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   Excellent point. But I personally would rather ma...   Jan 13 2007, 10:11 PM
- - Airsoft Monkey   Even with prove of delivery, buyer signing for the...   Jan 14 2007, 01:11 AM
- - New Guy on the Block   I guess my guide was more successful than I though...   Feb 4 2007, 09:16 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   I have seen another case where the buyer was shipp...   Feb 8 2007, 07:56 PM
- - vietec   I heard about this before. Some guy tried to buy m...   Feb 21 2007, 06:11 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   Thanks for charing that experience, vietec. Every...   Feb 23 2007, 04:24 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   If you took the proper steps listed in my guide an...   Feb 27 2007, 09:39 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   Pleased to say that I have not seen a scam for a w...   Mar 12 2007, 10:55 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   To celebrate this guide's 1000th view, I'm...   Apr 3 2007, 11:23 AM
- - New Guy on the Block   I looked back and this and realized I missed a ver...   May 19 2007, 09:47 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   Another point: KEEP ALL IMPORTANT PMS, E-MAILS, I...   May 23 2007, 07:23 PM
- - chris346   Sorry if this question has been answered. What d...   Jun 5 2007, 10:02 PM
|- - mishapman   QUOTE (chris346 @ Jun 5 2007, 10:02 PM) W...   Jul 3 2007, 04:51 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   A difficult and worrisome scenario. Like yourself...   Jun 6 2007, 04:33 PM
- - atrocity   First of all, this is what im selling and it CLEAR...   Jun 14 2007, 06:56 AM
- - New Guy on the Block   Classic case. DO NOT TAKE IT. This is another Ni...   Jun 14 2007, 07:15 AM
- - New Guy on the Block   It has come to my realization that with the recent...   Oct 18 2007, 08:38 PM
- - Kraziwun   Unless I'm missing something, does point 3 req...   Dec 31 2007, 09:36 PM
- - New Guy on the Block   It can be any number or phrase. Member name, foru...   Jan 1 2008, 12:25 PM
- - Night Fire   Same happened to me. Some guy from Africa kept ema...   Jan 17 2008, 01:53 PM
- - jotaerre   QUOTE (New Guy on the Block @ Jan 12 2007, 01...   Mar 8 2008, 03:50 PM
- - xXMiCW0lv3rin3Xx   how is what he said offensive to you? but great gu...   May 31 2008, 04:56 PM
|- - ah dinosaur!   QUOTE (xXMiCW0lv3rin3Xx @ May 31 2008, 01...   Jun 15 2008, 10:53 AM
- - Empire932   I know this is an old thread. But scamming never e...   Nov 13 2008, 12:55 PM
- - god_of_thunder   nice post very helpful im buying a used systema ...   Jan 3 2009, 05:40 PM
- - maverik   Sorry for the major necro post but I was wondering...   Mar 19 2009, 08:01 PM
- - losigod   QUOTE (maverik @ Mar 19 2009, 08:01 PM) S...   Mar 24 2009, 08:09 PM
- - NGOB   Well, the first step is to file a dispute. If he ...   Mar 24 2009, 08:15 PM
|- - StrikeOut   can someone help me out with this (im reasonably s...   Apr 22 2009, 01:21 PM
- - Stondanator   Lol I remeber the time my clarence lai tanaka m870...   May 4 2009, 08:37 PM
|- - UlookGoodThruaScope   Yeah, I saw a Dateline NBC on the scammers coming ...   Jun 10 2009, 09:49 AM
- - Jirog   If you are scammed, is there anything yo can do le...   May 17 2009, 12:35 AM
- - NGOB   If you are able to get in contact with their local...   May 17 2009, 08:06 AM
|- - Jirog   QUOTE (NGOB @ May 17 2009, 09:06 AM) If y...   May 17 2009, 12:32 PM
- - PCE PCM   Hey guys im pretty new here and I want to get rid ...   Jun 10 2009, 05:55 PM
- - admin   QUOTE (StrikeOut @ Apr 22 2009, 02:21 PM)...   Jun 28 2009, 06:35 PM
- - Blackbird   I am not sure if this is the right thread for this...   Nov 9 2009, 05:34 PM
|- - s92harrell   QUOTE (Blackbird @ Nov 9 2009, 05:34 PM) ...   Jan 23 2010, 11:59 PM
- - Haloll   If you are meeting the buyer, is paying cash a goo...   Jul 9 2010, 05:50 PM

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