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Avoiding Scams and Fraud

Avoiding Scams & Fraud  

You can avoid the majority of scams and fraud by simply using common sense. Following are a few tips. For specific scams reported to, see below.

• Deal LOCALLY with people you can MEET IN PERSON and you'll avoid nearly 99% of the scam attempts.
• NEVER WIRE FUNDS via Western Union, Moneygram or any other wire service. Anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
• FAKE Cashier Checks and Money Orders are common in scams. Banks WILL cash them, but hold YOU responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.
• does not get involved in any transactions. We do NOT handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer any type of "buyer protection" or "seller certification."
• NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.).
• Avoid deals involving SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES. Be aware that only a scammer will "guarantee" your transaction.

Who to Notify about Fraud or Scam Attempts
If you suspect that an item posted for sale in the Free Classifieds may be part of a scam, please REPORT THE ABUSE by clicking the "Report Offensive Ad " link near the top right-hand corner of the listing description page. You may also email details to Be sure to include the page URL or the six-digit Posting ID number in your message.

In addition, you may report abuse to the following organizations:

• FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
• FTC online complaint form (
• Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
• Internet Fraud Complaint Center (
• Non-emergency number for your local police department

Personal Safety Tips

The majority of users on are trustworthy and well-intentioned. Nevertheless, it's very important to take the same common-sense precautions when meeting someone for the first time in person as it is when interacting with them online. Remember to:
• Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
• Tell a friend or family member where you're going
• Take your cell phone along if you have one
• Consider having a friend accompany you
• Trust your instincts

For more information about personal safety online, check out and


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