Protecting Yourself From Online Fraud and Scams
We want you to have a safe and satisfying experience buying and selling in our classifieds. It's important to be aware that fraudulent ads are out there, and there are things you can do to protect yourself. Below are some tips to help you protect yourself.
If you know or believe you are the victim of fraud relating to a classifieds advertisement, please contact us and make us aware as soon as possible. We have several ways to stop fraudulent users from continuing to do business with us, which will help us to protect others in the future.
We'll NEVER ask you for personal or financial information via email.
We DO NOT perform any of the following services:
- Collect funds from/for the buyer or the seller
- Hold funds from/for the buyer or the seller
- Guarantee funds from/for the buyer or the seller
- Store merchandise from/for the buyer or the seller
- Ship merchandise from/for the buyer or the seller
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of our organization regarding any of these items, it's a scam. We do NOT get involved in transactions between buyers and sellers.
Red Flags to Watch For:
- Requests for personal information such as your password, bank account, or credit card number.
- Inquiries from individuals outside our local area
- Inquiries from someone in another country or requests to ship internationally
- Requests to do business via Western Union, Money Gram, Cashier's Check, wire transfer, or money order
- Inability or refusal to meet face to face before transaction
- Anyone claiming they are acting on behalf of someone else
- Postings that do not provide any contact information
- Offers to overpay more than the price of the merchandise
- Anything that seems too good to be true-it probably is!
- Work from home scams that ask for advance deposits
Pet ads can be a common source of scams. Besides the above tips, you can also:
- Ask if the breeder is a member of an AKC-affiliated club and contact that club to verify membership or check recent listings of available AKC Litters from breeders at: www.akc.org/classified/index.cfm.
- You can also check with the AKC (919-233-9767) to see if there are any complaints about the breeder.
- Request references and speak to other people who have purchased dogs from this breeder especially if the breeder does not live near you.
Who to notify about fraud (besides us):
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
- FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov) Other helpful resources to protect yourself online
- FTC, Internet Fraud - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menu-internet.htm
- FTC, Identity Theft - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
- Better Business Bureau - http://bbb.org/
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
- Meet in a public place. Many local police stations now offer "safe zones" in their parking lots or lobbies where you can conduct online transactions in confidence.
- NEVER agree to pay before inspecting and receiving an item.
- Rentals- if you are out of area looking for a rental, be aware that thieves may post a fake rental (a real property- just not THEIR property). If itís not a local property management company, investigate and get somebody local to help before you fork over your money and/or fill out a rental form with lots of personal info.