Forums: Dropzone.com: Suggestions and Feedback:
Classified scams

 


parkair  (D 33246)

Nov 25, 2012, 5:10 AM
Post #1 of 11 (1036 views)
Shortcut
Classified scams Quote | Reply

Why is there so many scams in the Dropzone classifieds? It seems there are more issues on this website than others I frequent. Is there anyway to create more barriers or checks to be sure the people on here are legit? After looking through a few classifieds currently posted, some sellers have never logged on. Yet they have a item for sale.


Premier Meso
Administrator
Nov 26, 2012, 12:22 AM
Post #2 of 11 (986 views)
Shortcut
Re: [parkair] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

It is a problem, though one that is difficult to avoid. There are already barriers up in terms of listing items and replying to ads, where users have to be registered for X amount of days, unfortunately all this does is have the scammers return a few weeks later to complete the process. This does weed out some, but a lot will return.

There is not much else we can do without making it a paid only listing service, which we don't want to do.

The problem comes in where because dropzone.com is the leading used skydiving classifieds online, people will register an account solely to list an item, many of these are not scammers.

When using the correct procedures for buying and selling, it's easy to avoid getting scammed though. Working the deal through a rigger or dropzone is a popular method for a transaction, alternatively just asking them for details about their license and following up with the information they give you. Naturally there are established users which can be more trust-worthy, but for new users perhaps with their profiles empty, it is worth just using caution and a few extra efforts if one feels the seller may be a scammer.


parkair  (D 33246)

Dec 21, 2012, 5:03 AM
Post #3 of 11 (915 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Meso] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks Meso for the earlier reply,

I do agree with your ideas and policies on this website. But it's getting to a point where a LARGE percentage of the sellers are scammers. Especially on the AAD classified section. And then there's the buyer scammers. Maybe it is time for a radical change. I enjoy and use this website often but it is not worth losing large sums of money. Thanks.....


johnlyman  (D 92685)

Jan 30, 2013, 7:43 PM
Post #4 of 11 (840 views)
Shortcut
Re: [parkair] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Any good suggestions on how to avoid buyers scams?

I have a rig in the classifieds for a customer and concerned about this. I understand that even after "certified" funds or paypal payment is received this can actually be rejected by the sellers bank, like passing a bad check.

Of course I would never take a personal check from someone I did not know, but if this can happen with certified/secured funds such as a paypal payment or cashiers check, how do you protect yourself?


Premier Meso
Administrator
Jan 30, 2013, 10:47 PM
Post #5 of 11 (824 views)
Shortcut
Re: [johnlyman] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hey there,

There is no fool-proof way to be entirely sure, but there are a few things that should look out for that are tell-tale signs of a scammer and a few other steps one can follow to help ensure that you minimize your risks.

Things To Watch Out For

The following, are often used by scammers:

- "I will have someone/a courier pick the item up from you" (Be VERY weary of anyone who claims that they will send a courier or person through to collect the item. This is generally something that is used exclusively by scammers, and should set off red flags immediately.)

- Mentioning the exact product title in the ad response. (While I imagine there are isolated cases where a legitimate user may copy and paste the ad title when responding, this is far more prevalently used by scammers. Be weary of a response that begins with something along the lines of "I am interested in your Sabre Excellent Condition (20 jumps)..")

- Broken English but claiming to be from an English speaking country. (Many of the scammers will claim to be from America or England, and yet speak with broken English, while this can happen with legitimate users, it also does warrant looking into the buyer more deeply.)


Furthermore, then there are ways to try and establish if the user is legitimate, and these can be difficult to verify at times, and may require a bit of effort - but if you want to make a sale and not get scammed, it's probably best.

We used to recommend just asking for the buyers USPA number or foreign equivalent, but lately this is something that the scammers have picked up on, and provide fake details - even claiming to jump at certain existing dropzones.

The best things to do at this stage are:

- Request that the sale be negotiated through a rigger at their dropzone.

- Contact the dropzone they claim to jump at, and verify that this person is who they say they are.

- Get the details to their rigger and contact them.



As I mentioned, nothing is fool-proof, but many of the methods above can help in ensuring that you evade any potential scammers.

And last of all, remember to have a look at our scams forum before completing any sale, to make sure that user isn't listed.


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Mar 9, 2013, 5:47 AM
Post #6 of 11 (767 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Meso] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

yah, well.

I keep marking ads as SCAM, and those same usernames keep re-posting same ads. Why does management not delete/inactivate those users ?


JeffCa  (B License)

Mar 9, 2013, 6:06 AM
Post #7 of 11 (765 views)
Shortcut
Re: [likestojump] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I marked an ad as a potential scam recently, and the ad has now been re-listed. It's a new account, never logged in, selling an item that should have a serial number but that was not listed, and the seller listed the wrong manufacturer in both ads.

As a newbie who may be buying gear in the near future, I'd ask DZ.com to do whatever is reasonably possible to keep these scams out. So what if it's a little inconvenient? Wouldn't it be worth it to have confidence in the system when people are making transactions for so much money?


Premier Meso
Administrator
Mar 10, 2013, 4:17 AM
Post #8 of 11 (745 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JeffCa] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

There is not much we can do. We do everything in our power to prevent them already. We have a waiting period before people can post ads, we disable scam users when they are reported to us (may take a couple days due to office hours etc).

The only thing we could do to prevent scammers from trying to scam people, is to implement an in-depth registration process of classifieds. Where buyers and sellers would have to confirm who they are and supply us with certain details, details many users may not want to provide. It would be met positively by some, but negatively by others.

The scams you see here exist on all classifieds platforms. Even places like Craig's List or Gumtree. They fall victim to the same scammers, and there is no way to keep them out apart from changing the whole way a user registers.

It's up to the buyer and the seller to establish whether the user is legitimate or not. We can only provide so much security - the rest is up to the people organizing the transaction. Make sure you speak to people on the phone during a sale, contact their dropzone, confirm their USPA or equivalent license number. As you say, 'so what if it's a little inconvenient'.

With that said, we are toying with ideas that won't prevent scammers - but rather help identify the trusted ones.

Cheers


Premier Meso
Administrator
Mar 10, 2013, 4:20 AM
Post #9 of 11 (743 views)
Shortcut
Re: [likestojump] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The scam review system isn't the best with regards to alerts. While we get e-mail notifications for buyer scams, we don't get the same alerts for scam sellers. This week I will actually look into implementing a system that e-mails us the username of a seller scam when a report is made, to make the disabling process of sellers easier.


JeffCa  (B License)

Mar 10, 2013, 6:24 AM
Post #10 of 11 (733 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Meso] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In reply to:
The only thing we could do to prevent scammers from trying to scam people, is to implement an in-depth registration process of classifieds. Where buyers and sellers would have to confirm who they are and supply us with certain details, details many users may not want to provide. It would be met positively by some, but negatively by others.

Meso, thanks for your reply. If you have a chance and don't mind, could you briefly describe what would be involved with such a process? If some people would like it and some people wouldn't, why not do it and make it optional for people to participate? Buyers and sellers could then have a "trusted" logo or something next to their names if they have completed the process. Considering a lot of gear is worth more than a typical used car, I'd be willing to pay for such security, which would hopefully make it worthwhile for you.

If I was buying used gear today, I'd probably insist on using an escrow service like that offered by ChutingStar. Not only do I get an inspection to verify the condition, but my chance of getting scammed would go down considerably.


Premier Meso
Administrator
Mar 10, 2013, 6:30 AM
Post #11 of 11 (732 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JeffCa] Classified scams [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The functionality you mention is what we're currently considering and seeing what the options are. But the idea of having certain users to be 'verified' or 'trusted' users is a concept that is likely to take place in the future. Like I said, we just have to finish looking at options and how we'd go about doing it in the most effective way.



Forums : Dropzone.com : Suggestions and Feedback

 


Search for (options)