Internet Scams

Please note, there are several scams invading the internet that prey on sellers of merchandise. Many of these are variations of the Nigerian 419 Scams, collectively named after Nigerian Penal Code Section 419. Unfortunately these scammers are now trying their tricks on those sellers advertising on the Unimog Exchange™.

One scam goes like this. You advertise a truck or other expensive item for sale. The scammer sends you an email with an offer. The offer states that a third party will send you a cashiers check, maybe money owed to the scammer, which is larger than the amount of the offer. The scammer asks you to refund the difference and make payment by Western Union, maybe so he can arrange for shipping. You deposit the cashiers check, take cash out from your account and run it over to Western Union. A few days or weeks go by and your bank notifies you the cashiers check bounced. It is too late as you suddenly realize all of the money you wired by Western Union is lost.

The scammer is taking advantage of our antiquated banking system, as well as our trust and business practices. Most people assume a cashiers check is the same as cash. Wrong, it is merely a check written on the banks own account, and just like any other check, they have up to 30 or 60 days to examine and refute the check. You say your bank called to see if the check was good. It was, but the scammer can stop payment on it just like any other check. However, the check was probably good, but was issued for only a few dollars and the amount altered before you received it.

So how can you have a secure transaction? It is not possible. All transactions require a certain amount of trust and eventually a leap of faith. However, here are some things you can do. 1 - Know the people you are doing business with, both buyers and sellers. 2 - See if they use real names or full names, have an address and a phone that they answer, and are known in the community. 3 - For small transactions, require cash, credit cards or Paypal. 4 - For large transactions, ask for payment by direct deposit or wire transfer, or just wait until the check has been received and cleared by the originating bank. And 5 - use prudence, try not to be in a hurry, it leads to mistakes.

Like you, we regret having to deal with the occasional miscreant. But we also realize that most people are sincere and forthright, and most transactions are straight forward and trouble free.

Click here to read more about 419 Scams

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