How to avoid scam on free classified ads sites?
What is a scam?
A scam can be described as any scheme or fraudulent offer that takes the data information or money of people that are unaware of the scam. Online scams are increasing day by day in this digital world because of internet usage worldwide.
Cybercriminals use different methodologies for spams and frauds; social media, SMS messages, or through emails, fake tech support calls, scareware, and many more. The most prominent method of scams is scam ads on free classified ads sites. The main purpose of these scams is to steal your information, money (in what is otherwise termed as advance fee fraud) or obtain your goods without payment. Whichever way the scam took, its sole purpose is to defraud you of your valuables or possession.
What are free classified ads sites?
Classified advertising is the type of advertising that is cheaper and visible widely. Many classified ads sites provide you the services to advertise your brand, company, product, or service. Most famous classified ad sites charge a fair amount of money for your advertisements. However, there are also some free classified ads sites that are free of cost. Some of the famous sites that provide free of cost services for advertisements are eBay, Gumtree, and lokalclassified.com. The scammers surely use free classified local sites for free classified ads.
Types of Scam Ads on Free Classified Ads Sites
Few types of scam advertisements you may see on free classified ads sites are the following.
- Health and medical product scams: Scams companies can sell you healthcare products at very low prices, but you do not receive them or provide you fake or low-quality healthcare products or medicines with all those fake promises. Fake online pharmacies are scams designed to trick you into paying for items you’re not going to get or products that don’t actually relate to their promises. Fraudsters can create fake sites for a pharmacy that is intended to appear like real pharmacies. At very low prices and with no need for a medical recommendation, they would sell health goods, medicines, and products.
- Classified scams: At classified websites, classified scams deceive online consumers into believing that they have been dealing with a legitimate link and that it is just a scammer. Fraudsters will advertise on classifieds websites, in publish classifieds, as genuine sellers and post fake advertisements, and may approach you via email or even on social media sites. The scammers post their ads with photographs and other information just like an original and reputable seller or service provider. The scammer advertises the products at a low price, often much lower than identical products sold on a certain website, to lure people to get caught in their trap.
- Online shopping scams: Scammers claims to really be valid online sellers, either with a fake site or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site, include internet shopping scams. Scammers use the latest technologies to create fake advertisements for companies that look like real online stores. Advanced designs and layouts, probably stolen logos, fonts may be used. Several of these companies sell luxury products at very cheap costs, such as popular brands of clothes, jewelry, and accessories. Mostly the item you paid for will be received, but they will be fraudulent, and certainly, many times, you may receive nothing anyway.
- Job Scams: Scammers also advertise fake job vacancies and offers that easily interest the jobless people or part-time workers/students. They advertise job vacancies like an authentic and original business company or organization and trick the unaware people with such fake advertisements on local classified sites that offer free classified ads. Such scams take your personal information and data.
Signs of Scams
Cybercriminals like traps innocent people who are unaware of such scams. Spotting a fraud can be hard for people who do not know anything about these spam. Keep in mind that fraudsters are extremely clear and good at designing spams that convince the viewer.
- A random call on your number that you never contacted can be a prominent sign. If you receive any call from a new organization or a person claiming to be a member of the organization, ensure to ask him/her a few questions or information that only the organization or its members will know. If you are not convinced, simply hung the call and never attended it to fool yourself.
- Scam offers you a high return amount with little financial commitment that attracts the attention of people. The scam advertisements may look convincing or beneficial, but you need to avoid it.
- Scam offers always demand your personal details that you do not share with anyone except the trusted ones. Never share any personal information if the offers seem too invalid. These cybercriminals can steal your money or identity and data by getting some valuable information from you.
- There are chances that there might be some grammatical or spelling mistakes in spams messages and advertisements. If you notice any mistake, you know it is a spam.
- Scammers always steal data and money very quickly. They do not give you time to think and analyze the offer. They ask for a quick response to the offer. If the offer is a scam, they will consistently ask you to give a quick response because the offer will end soon.
- The scammer or fraud company claims to be inaccessible and implores for payment before actually arranging for the delivery of goods.
- Fraud seller and service providers demand you to pay by transactions of international money, paycheques, or immediate money orders.
- You see the classified ad offers, at really reasonable prices, advertised products, services, and sometimes even lower than comparable items advertised on the other similar websites and other platforms.
- Suppose a possible overseas purchaser is willing to purchase your item. That is a commonly available item in their area, and the cost of delivery will far exceed the price of the product selling. Then it might be a scammer.
It would be best if you kept in mind that these points might be visible in scams, so be aware of such offers, messages, and advertisements.
Ways to avoid scams:
- Scammers claim to be trustable companies or services and ask you for your personal information; you must not give any personal information and data to scammers.
- Before clicking any advertisement or link, you can type the company, product, or services on a search engine to know about it. Before taking any step to take any offer from an advertisement that is shown at sites, you must confirm its validity and trustability because these advertisements or messages can be spam ads on free local classified sites.
- Scammers easily use fake caller ID information by using technology. So, the caller number and name are not always real. If the caller asks you for personal information or money transfer, you know you need to hang up. If you want to check the person, you can call back to the number.
- If the value of a commodity, service, or rental property advertised appears too authentic, it is usually. Must not go through with the offer if you have any doubts. Do not even trust an ad’s validity only because it appears that some scammers can also post fake ads on popular classified websites.
- The safest option for valuable specific items is to pay the dealer after examining the products in particular. Similarly, you should not make a payment or any partial transactions until you have inspected an item.
- Avoid any deal with a random person asking for payment through bank transfer, direct debit, international funds transfer, preconfigured payment, or digital wallets, like Bitcoin. Unusually, payment sent out this way is retrieved.
- If a cheque for more than the negotiated price was sent to you, send it back and ask for a cheque with the exact amount. Do not deliver the goods to the vendor until your bank account has cleared the cheque.
What to do if you are a victim of a scam?
Scams have become more advanced, and many people eventually succumb to them. It can be really troubling, but just don’t feel inadequate or terrified. You’ve become the victim of a crime, so reporting it and getting the help you need is essential. It is an emergency if a crime is in progress or if you or somebody else is in imminent danger.
Call the Emergency Police Department. Ensure you report it if you really have fallen victim to a scam. You might not be able to get your money back, but you might be able to reduce the harm to you or many people and take measures to prevent it from happening again. Fraudsters are criminals and should be reported to the cybercrime reporting center. With the legal aid consumer helpline, specific scams could also be reported to local authorities.
Where can you report a scam?
The best way to report scams is to complain about the scam on the report scam page. The pages that help you to know about recent scams and trends that are being used for fraud. Moreover, it helps you find the details of the scam you came across. Contact the scam reporting websites and let them know the information you have about the scammer and your experience to help them stop the scammer from fraud.