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Old 08-05-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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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

We 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

Contact Details: 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.

Photo Authenticity: 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.

Seller History: 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.

Ad Text: 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.

Price: 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.

Free Delivery: 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!
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:07 PM   #2
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Moderator's note: This post moved here because it is a useful addendum to Gina's warning.

some good info on squaretrade scams

[b]Fraud Alert & Consumer Protection Tips

[b]FRAUD ALERT: There are currently various attempts to defraud consumers using SquareTrade and other trusted companies. Please read warnings below, verify suspicious claims and be careful when making purchases online.

SquareTrade will NOT email you to claim that the email you received from was a mistake and insist that the seller is a Verified seal member while still asking you to send money via wire transfer. [b]Fraudulent Sellers may be using legitimate Seal IDs to deceive you!

Beware of potential fake "spoof" emails that pretend to be an authentic email from SquareTrade or other trusted companies.

SquareTrade Never Takes Payment on Behalf of a Seller:

Scam emails will often request the consumer to pay via a money transfer service, such as Western Union or Money Gram, an escrow service, or by money order. BEWARE! [b]SquareTrade will NEVER act as an escrow agent for a seller and will NEVER hold or transfer money on behalf of an auction or seller.

[b]Claims of Large Insurance Backing Are Usually Fraudulent:
Scam emails often make false claims that the seller is backed by a large "protection account" or by 3rd party insurance or similar claims to make you feel safe. [b]Verify such claims directly with 3rd parties.

[b]Beware of Fake Websites:

Beware that scam artists often[b] create fake websites to look exactly like trusted company websites that are linked to the scam emails.

To help prevent being defrauded by such tricks, always directly type into your web browser the name of the business (e.g.,,,, when you are verifying information with a trusted website.

[b]Verify Before You Pay:

If you have received one of these emails or are concerned about a seller, DO NOT pay until you have verified a seller's claims. If claims relate to SquareTrade, forward the email and questions to [b], and wait until a SquareTrade representative contacts you.

If the claims relate to a specific ecommerce website purchase, such as eBay,, Yahoo or, visit their website for further information and [b]send suspicious emails or questions to their respective support teams (e.g.,,,,

These companies might also have added buyer protection to cover some of your losses.

[b]Use Secure Payment Methods:

We suggest NEVER using wire or money transfer methods, such as Western Union or MoneyGram, money orders or personal checks, when paying an unknown seller, as these forms of payment leave you with little or no recourse if the transaction is fraudulent. Credit cards generally offer the highest fraud protection for consumers. You should contact your credit card issuer for more information.

Use caution and common sense: "Too good to be true" deals are often fraudulent. Purchase responsibly and realize there are risks when buying online from unknown sellers.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:02 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1987 Casita 16 ft / Dodge Dakota Sport V6
Posts: 24
I'm not sure where this should go so I'll send it to you for your descretion.
I HAD BID ON AN EBAY SCAMP and was the next highest bidder, immediatly after the close of the auction. I recieved three (3) second chance offers from three different supposed sellers of the same scamp the offers were sent to my email address and not through ebay so I knew they were spoofs, two of them looked very official and one could not even spell or use proper english. so, this is just another heads up to say watch out they are still out there and wanting to trap some unsuspecting buyer
regards Gerald Rush
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1988 16 ft Scamp Deluxe
Posts: 25,726
This was just posted on one of our TV stations websites: The bold is mine.
Craigslist Criminals: The Site's New Danger

PORTLAND, OR- Craigslist, the fee-free website based out of San Francisco, allows users to post items they wish to buy and sell without providing identification, a policy that is beginning to cause problems.

Portland Police say thieves are using the site to sell stolen goods. [b]They warn: if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Common items that are being sold are concert tickers, car stereos, [b]even trailers.

[b]Myles Wright has been searching for the thief who stole his $4,000 handmade trailer. Someone took it from his yard several months ago. Wright had been checking Craigslist to see if anyone was trying to sell his trailer and networking with others selling trailers to see if they had any information.

His research paid off. Police arrested Forrest Green in connection with the theft. Green has allegedly been [b]stealing trailers and using Craigslist to sell them. Wright's trailer has not yet been recovered.

Police say to use caution when using the site or others like it. Be aware of who you are purchasing items from and always meet in a public place when exchanging goods for money.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:04 AM   #5
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Trailer: Cadet 1985 / 2006 Element
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Anyone ever use BuySafe? As in I'm following a Bigfoot 13 from the Atlanta Craigslist 265318063 that sounds good but the seller can't call me, isn't in town right now, etc.

I'm not buying if I can't see it!
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:36 AM   #6
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Anyone ever use BuySafe? As in I'm following a Bigfoot 13 from the Atlanta Craigslist 265318063 that sounds good but the seller can't call me, isn't in town right now, etc.

I'm not buying if I can't see it!
Check this out:

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Old 01-20-2007, 11:34 AM   #7
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walk away.
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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walk away.
I can't get near enough to it so I could walk away!
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:45 PM   #9
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This ad was flagged down on Craigslist. Too good to be true
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:37 AM   #10
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My name is Steve Woda, and I am the founder of buySAFE.

DO NOT, under any circumstances, make a purchase from this seller on CraigsList! This is a fraudster trying to steal your money.

CraigsList is a great marketplace for finding items you want to buy, but it is also, a place where bad guys can take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. It is always a case of buyers beware, and on classifieds marketplaces like CraigsList, this is especially true.

I founded buySAFE after getting burned by a fraudster on eBay, so I care a great deal about this issue. Hopefully, I can help you out here.

buySAFE is an online trust & safety company dedicated to making it safe to buy stuff online. Currently, buySAFE protects millions of items that are for sale on the Internet each and every day. However, buySAFE is NOT an escrow company, and buySAFE is NOT a payments company. buySAFE bond items for sale on eBay,, and few select individual merchant websites. In all cases, if you are worried or in doubt about the authenticity of a merchant, call buySAFE at 703.778.4445 or go to the following buySAFE web page to report the issue to buySAFE and get their official recommendation...

In addition, you can always go to buySAFE Shopping at in order to be 100% sure that the item you purchase will be fully protected by buySAFE up to $25,000.

At this point in time (January 2007), buySAFE does not bond any items on CraigsList or any other classifieds marketplace. Therefore, any seller that claims you will have buySAFE protection on CraigsList can be safely assumed to be a fraudster. Avoid these sellers at all costs.

Good luck, and if you have any additional questions, go the following page on buySAFE's website... It is buySAFE's Security Center, and it will give you all of the information you need in order to protect yourself in the future online.

Best regards,

Steve Woda
Founder, buySAFE
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:51 AM   #11
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Posts: 225
Dear Steve: Thank you for replying and telling us about buySafe, which I have never used. I appreciate your attention to this matter and the your quick response. I was suspicious from the initial posting on Craigslist (frankly, too good of a deal), the two email responses made it no better, and using buySafe as a shield was the icing on the cake. On the positive side, we have revealed a fraud, and have been introduced to buySafe.

I know all the readers on this forum appreciate your response. Best regards,

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Old 01-21-2007, 11:52 AM   #12
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Great Reply.Thanks
Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:10 PM   #13
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Would like to know why buySAFE is better than PayPal...just curious...and what guarantee do we have that buySAFE isn't a scam?

Vivian, always the skeptic
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:25 PM   #14
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buysafe is NOT a payment service. It is a bond type service.

Please read Steves link, it explains how it works.

They have been around awhile and are a well respected business.
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