Fraud & Common Internet Scams
The majority of people that you deal with online are decent, genuine, like-minded people but scams & fraud are a worldwide problem that anyone using the internet must be aware of.
Wherever you advertise, at some point buyers & sellers do have to make contact with each other. Scammers will register website accounts, have multiple identities, Email accounts & social media profiles. They scan online & newspaper ads or Facebook selling groups for possible victims, so it is very important to know how to recognise a scam however contact is made.
Ignorance & trust are the scammer's best friends. The greater the awareness of scams, the harder it becomes for scammers to succeed. It is human nature to want to trust people, scammers will abuse this trust to engage with you. They may seem friendly & knowledgeable or pretend to have common interests, but when they ask for your details, money or payment in a way that cannot be reversed, stop, step back & think about what you are actually doing. Genuine people will understand your concerns.
If a scam isn't immediately obvious, ignore any further contact from them as soon as you realise. The scammer will only succeed if you send them money or give them your personal/bank details, most scams become very obvious long before this point.
You should take extra care if you post a wanted advert. Scammers have the advantage of knowing exactly what you are looking for, so can easily falsify descriptions or use photos from genuine adverts to try to sell you something they don’t have. If you are advertising for a horse be wary of unscrupulous dealers, make sure the horse is theirs to sell, do some research & ask why it hasn’t been advertised. Although a passport is not proof of ownership, ensure the passport is valid & seriously consider getting it vetted.
DO NOT be tricked into paying by Bank Transfer or Paypal Family & Friends for something that can't be collected. These payments cannot be recovered. See Money Transfer Scam below.
Because of this page, we do receive many scam reports from other websites & Facebook selling groups. Although the same advice applies wherever you advertise, we can only deal with scammers that have made contact through the NFED. If you have advertised elsewhere, please contact the site or group administrator directly & let them know. Facebook estimates that there are currently at least 80 million fake profiles. If you use Facebook, please review your security settings. It is amazing how much information you can give to criminals in your profile; date of birth, mothers maiden name, children & pets names, where you live & when you go on holiday. Click Here here for an interesting example. Even if they don’t target you directly, they may copy your information, photos or identity to set up further fake accounts to scam others in your name, leaving you to take the blame.
The NFED is a local specialised site & nature of the subject does mean that the majority of transactions will be face to face. In the real world, it is very unlikely that a genuine buyer will want to buy a horse, trailer or lorry unseen, so alarm bells should always ring if this is suggested for any reason. Although we can’t guarantee the validity of an advert, all adverts are checked before approval, any advert that we suspect as fraudulent will be rejected before it is seen by the public. .
If you have advertised elsewhere, you can identify NFED enquiries by the Email subject
line "NFED Classifieds Advert Enquiry".
If the sender has already been listed below, there is no need to report it, just delete the Email & do not reply. If the sender is not on the list, please forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org The senders details will checked & either added to the list, or if we believe that it is genuine we will let you know.
The senders IP address is shown on NFED Enquiries. This can be checked against the list below or Click Here to look up the country of origin, but please only use this as a guide. If the country is Nigeria, Russia or China, they are unlikely to really want your horse or trailer. If they are using a proxy server, this may give a false location including the UK.
- Money Transfer Scam
NEVER use Bank or Money Transfer payments to purchase goods from private sellers unless the goods are in your possession. Fraudsters advertise goods or answer wanted ads, they gain your trust before taking payment by Bank Transfer, Paypal Family & Friends or by a money transfer company such as Western Union. They have your money, but the goods don’t arrive, the seller can’t be traced & it is not possible to get the payment reversed.
We would advise anyone buying tack, saddles or goods that cannot be collect in person to use Paypal Goods & Services as a method of payment. If the goods do not arrive within the time limit, you can raise a dispute through PayPal, it is then the sellers responsibility to provide Paypal with proof of postage. Don't accept excuses to take it over the time limit, raise a dispute well before or you will not be able to reclaim the payment. Don't be talked into using Paypal Family & Friends which DOES NOT cover goods purchased. This will send the money as a gift, is not covered by Paypal & like Bank Transfers, cannot be reversed.
For sellers, it is worth noting that Paypal should only be used for items that are posted & not large items that are collected by the buyer. Although rare, there are cases where an item has been paid for by Paypal & then collected in person. The buyer then makes a non delivery claim to Paypal. Proof of postage cannot be provided by the seller, so the payment is reversed. This leaves the seller without the money & the goods have gone to a buyer that cannot be traced.
The caller claims that they are from a company or give a name that you know, explaining that there has been a problem with the payment or asking for payment for any other reason. They ask for your card details to rectify the problem.
THIS IS A SCAM.
Never give your payment or personal details to anyone calling you.
All websites & printed media are being targeted. The NFED is certainly no worse hit than others, but we are determined to make life as difficult as we can for the scammers by ensuring all of our customers are aware of the scam & not taken in.
IF YOU RECEIVE A CALL OR THREATS ARE MADE.
THEY ARE NOT UNTOUCHABLE
Buying & Selling Scams
This is a world wide problem for ALL Internet and traditional printed classifieds.
Just remember the following, use common sense and enjoy using the NFED classifieds:
That horse or cute puppy in the photo on the legitimate-looking website is almost too good to be real. Often, he isn't.
One scam promises you a free puppy or horse, you only have to pay the shipping cost. Once the scammers get your payment, the scammer says your animal is stuck at the airport or port due to customs complications, and you are asked to send more money for up keep or to get customs release.
Finally, the scammer disappears along with your money. In many cases, victims think their animal is at the airport waiting for them after they've sent several payments. Don't reply to their Emails.
Charities, Rescues & Welfare Scams
In times of recession animals do suffer & there are plenty of people that want to help. Unfortunately the scammers know this & they never miss out on an opportunity to get part you & your money.
A number of scam horse welfare sites are now popping up with the intention of getting your donations or bank details. Please carefully check the credentials of any such site before entering any personal information. They make look very official with lots of photos of malnourished & neglected horses, or links & backing of other well known organisations, but this is meaningless & can easily be faked. Just because they say that they are supported by a well known organisation, it doesn't mean they are!
If they are a registered charity, they will have a registration number which can be checked online out at: www.charitycommission.gov.uk
If you would like to give money to charity or a welfare organisation, choose one which is well known and has a good reputation. If in doubt about an organisation’s legitimacy or credibility take the time to check it out with your local Horsewatch scheme, Police, or other reputable registered charity i.e. RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Donkey Sanctuary.
Share Holders - Be aware of the Hostile Take Over Scam
A collection of unsolicited bulk electronic messages; Any undesired electronic content automatically-generated for commercial purposes; An unsolicited electronic message sent in bulk, usually by email or newsgroups; Alternative form of SPAM; To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages
Spambots are computer programs that crawl the internet, filling in & submitting forms with spam & links. These can be very hard to stop & are to blame for the various methods used to try to identify humans & real form entries (CAPTCHA). We have stopped many of the simple bots, but the more sophisticated do manage to get through occasionally. Please do not click on any links contained in your classifieds replies
A domain name is a unique address which allows you to visit a website or get your e-mail. Knowing a little bit about how domain names work, can help you to avoid scam & phishing websites. Phishing sites are copies of the genuine websites set up to obtain your personal details or give false information.
Sub domains are intended to seperate different areas of a web site, but also offer an ideal way for scammers to set up a a more convincing website with a domain or URL that looks more like the genuine site.
If the scammer registers a more appealing name such as genuinebloke.co.uk & uses the sub domain ebay you would then get ebay.genuinebloke.co.uk which really starts to look like a genuine website address, but IS NOT!
To make it more believable, they may set up a redirect from ebay.genuinebloke.co.uk to the genuine Ebay site. If it is queried they will tell you to use the link to convince you of the authenticity. Only when the file path is added, do you get the true scam website. ebay.genuinebloke.co.uk-falseadvert?youradvertblahblah
Scammers will often say that the sale will be handled by EBay. Unless you were actually buying through EBay, this is a scam. There is no reason why EBay would be involved in any other sales. EBay do not handle shipping or payments.
If they send a specific link to you i.e. ebay.genuinebloke.co.uk-falseadvert?youradvertblahblah this will be the scam site.
When you connect to the internet, you connect through a server provided by your internet service provider (ISP). The IP address of the server is provided, which allows others to identify the users ISP & country. This can be very useful as it helps to identify scammers that are overseas but are claiming to be in the UK. An IP address can be blocked from accessing a website, but it does mean that it will also block other users of that service provider, so must be used carefully.
A proxy server is another link in the chain which allows the user to connect to the internet anonymously. The IP address of the proxy server instead of the users ISP will be shown, meaning that the user or country cannot be traced. The IP address of the proxy server can be blocked, but the scammer will simply use a different proxy server to get around the block. In theory it is possible to block all proxy servers from accessing a website, but proxy servers are also used by larger organisations, employers & universities to connect an internal network to the internet. Blocking proxies will also block these legitimate users from accessing the website.
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