Do You Smell A Used Equipment Scam?
At Nurseryman.Com we've heard troubling news from our sellers of used equipment and from around the web. Please read the information below to learn what could happen to you and how to avoid getting ripped off:
Is the buyer offering you more than what you are asking?
Is the buyer going to wire you the money?
Is the buyer requesting that YOU wire THEM any money?
Is the buyer making an offer on behalf of someone else?
Is the buyer using a free email account?
Is the buyer providing a phone number but not answering it?
These are just a few warning signs of online scams. Why would the buyer offer you more than your asking price, and then ask you to wire them the difference? Their over-payment to you will most likely be fraudulent, and those funds will be removed from your account by your very own bank AFTER you wire the "buyer" the difference. Once you wire money from your bank account, it is NON-RECOVERABLE...and yet the buyer may (will) be able to recover their money, since international banking laws differ from country to country. No reputable party we've ever heard of buys equipment this way. This sounds similar to the infamous Nigerian fraud scams, where they ask you to wire them some of your money in exchange for a cut of millions of dollars that they need to move out of the country via your bank account. The Nigerian scheme has been mentioned several times in the national news.
Also, a check or money order can be fraudulent, EVEN THOUGH it is both certified and deposited into your bank account. Several weeks later it may be debited from your account by your very own bank due to the fact that the payment was fraudulent. We don't know how or why this is allowed to happen, but it's been in the national news as well.
Another red flag to watch out for is if the buyer is using a free email account...one that they can easily ditch once the fraud has been successful. Although many people do use free email accounts all the time, it is worth noting when their offer seems overly generous.
The very best way to prevent yourself from being scammed is to deal in cash or use a reputable escrow service, and NOT a service suggested by the buyer...even if the recommended escrow service's web site looks legit and they answer the phone. An escrow service will most likely do a better job of verifying funds, because their butt is on the line if something goes wrong. Your bank may not be able to offer you similar protection.
Don't jump the gun or you may shoot yourself in the foot!
At Nurseryman.Com we can assure you that you'll get many phone calls and emails from within the good old USA, so we suggest passing on any offers that smell like this.
Internet Fraud Links:
FTC Consumer Complaint Form
Internet Fraud Complaint Center
Internet Fraud Examples: