CAVEAT EMPTOR - Let the Buyer Beware
The intent of the referrals section is to post ads and items seen for sale
by our members that they think may be helpful to folks looking for a rig. It has proven to be a very valuable resource for everyone.
We Are Providing This Service As A Free Resource
are good intentioned, however, there has recently been a series of fraudulent ads on eBay and Craigslist. One of our good intentioned members may post an ad which later on turns out to be not so Kosher. The referral poster may be totally unaware of the ad's true nature. If you get caught in a scam because you used a referral from here, please do not blame the poster. It is not their fault or responsibility (nor is it FGRV’s) to do your detailed research for you.
Things to Notice in Ads
Read the ads carefully. With eBay, look for contact details in the ads. If a seller will not do business through proper eBay channels, such as asking you to contact directly, and pay them directly… run. Run far away. This is not only a warning sign that the ad may be fraudulent, but also an indicator that the seller will not follow rules and is dishonest (if for no other reason than to bypass paying eBay fees). If s/he is dishonest with eBay, it is suspect they will be honest with you.
Proper Seller ID:
Contacting the seller through
eBay’s system will also lead you to the proper seller ID. If their ID has been stolen, it is the real seller
that will get your correspondence and they will no doubt reply with an alert that this is not
a real ad from them. These scammers are usually very aggressive in their ad text about never going through eBay to contact them. Here is what to look for. They will usually have ONE question asked; this is a plant. The displayed question will be answered in caps… something like "DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS THROUGH EBAY!!! EMAIL DIRECTLY AT....” The email addresses change all the time, but you get the idea.
Look at the photos carefully and try to remember if you have seen them before. The most recent ploy is to steal honest sellers’ photos of very nice trailers and re-use them in the fraudulent ads.
Look at the feedback history of the seller. The new scam is to steal other users’ IDs (see above). The feedback may be good, because it is not
actually the fraudulent seller’s feedback; it is real feedback from real sellers. The new scam usually will have bidders’ IDs’ kept private. If the feedback history of the seller does not have any other private ID auctions, this is a warning sign.
Check the ad's text. Most (but not all) of the new scams use an image for the text. They do not type out the repetitive things they use in all ads. This can be discovered in two ways. Run your cursor over the ad text (usually the colored stuff) and see if your cursor changes to link mode. (Your cursor will change to a little hand symbol in most default Windows
systems.) Clicking on the link will bring up your email program and allow you directly contact to the fraudulent seller. The second thing to look for is if the text has “archiving” or "rough" edges. Then it is a low resolution scan.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
On both Craigslist and eBay, if the price seems too low, it is
most likely too good to be true. Do not be fooled by "have to sell" or "just trying to get rid of." For example, a 2002 Scamp
Deluxe 16 foot in excellent condition just does not sell for 1/8th of the new price. Do a search of completed eBay auctions to see what a ball-park figure should be for the trailer.
This is an instant warning sign. It costs a lot
of money to send a trailer cross country, either by shipper or personal delivery. In some cases, it costs more to ship than was paid for a legitimate trailer. No one in their right mind is going to lose money doing this. Local delivery may be another story, and is
usually legitimate, but just like a cross country ad, do your research. For local sales, if they will not let you preview the item, do not even consider buying it.
Trailer Location vs. Seller's Location:
Though this sometimes happens, most all ads advertise the trailers in one place, then when the seller is contacted, they
are in another. (The same scam methods are being used for other high dollar items, such as boats and cars.) Unfortunately, these dishonest folks are getting better and better at coming up with what looks legitimate. Just be aware of any deviations from the norm.
Use Your Intuition:
If it smells even mildly fishy, do not do it. Another trailer will be along soon. There is too much money to be taking risks.
We are not trying to scare you away from eBay or Craigslist! They are both a wonderful source for these adorable little trailers and we have many, many happy buyers of eBay and Craigslist trailers among us! But, because these ads reach millions of folks nationally, the scammers choose to use them over traditional local ads. They reach more victims.
Do not be discouraged; just please be careful!