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How we protect you | Spotting Scam Ads | Common scam ads | buyers can be scammers too

How we protect you

Unlike most classified sites, we check and double check EVERY ad that is placed in our system.

Most sites rely on the community to flag listings as scams but every ad that is placed through our classified ad creator is checked by two separate people. You're safety is our number one concern and we want to stop ads before they get to you. Unfortunately these scammers are devious and the ads will occasionally pass our validation procedures or they are placed during odd hours of the night so they may go online before we are able to check them. We also rely on our community and will reward you to help us spot these ads.

If you find a scam ad on our site or in our paper click here to report it.
Please include the ad number, a screen shot or the text of the ad in your email.

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Spotting Scam Ads

Here are a few things to watch out for:

Unrealistically low price - This is a major give away. If someone is advertising a $20,000 car for $4000, for example, then beware!

An example of a scam ad involving unrealistic offers.

Out of state phone number - Out of state phone numbers can be legitimate but this can be an indication of a scam ad. Try calling the number; many times they are not valid.

Phone number not valid - If the ad has a phone number but you're corresponding via email be sure and attempt the number. If you receive a fax machine, a "mailbox is full" message, or just can't get through to the number then it's often a scam ad.

No phone number in ad - The majority of scammers want to do all communication via email. When communicating via email be sure to ask for a phone number so you can talk directly to the person.

Avoid buying items that will be shipped to you - These are almost all SCAMS.

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Common Scam Ads

Pets - Scammers will ask for deposits or shipping fees. Do not purchase an animal that you cannot visit first.

An example of a scam ad involving pets. Indicators: Seattle phone number, Ohio Zip Code.

Vehicles/Campers/Motorcycles/Tractors - Classic cars seem to be a big target for scammers. We've also seen scam ads for Harley Davidson motorcycles, campers, tractors etc. They advertise the item for a really great price, you send them the money and they never send the item because there is no item. They will also use a third party to "hold" the money until the item is received by you. The third party seems totally legitimate, like "Yahoo Finance", but it is completely fake. You're actually wiring the money directly to them even though it looks like you're dealing with a third party.

An example of a scam ad involving vehicles.

Employment - work from home ads are sometimes legitimate but don't ever send the "employer" money. One common scam is for an Accounts Receivable clerk. The scam works something like this, checks are sent directly to you from their "customers", you post the checks into their system and deposit the checks into your bank account. You then send them back a portion of the money, keeping a certain percentage for your hard work. They receive the money from you and then your bank alerts you that all the checks you deposited are fake or have bounced.

An example of a scam ad involving employment.

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Buyers can be scammers too

If the buyer is out of town or overseas be very careful - A common scam is to send you money for a car, apartment, etc and either send you too much or ask you to send the money back because you've changed your mind. Of course, you've already deposited their money (a fake check) and so you send them legitimate funds only to find out a few weeks later that their check bounced.

Cash is always the safest way to receive payment.

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