Most people using online marketplaces like Friday-Ad are genuine, lovely people from your neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, scams are also a reality of all online marketplace sites. Thankfully with a little awareness and common sense, most scams are easily avoided.
Here's a list of the most common scams the Friday-Ad customer support team has come across, and their advice on how to spot and avoid them...
Cheque overpayment scam
This is a scam where a buyer, a prospective tenant or even an employer will send you a cheque that is worth more than the value of the items/rent/job. Once you have received the cheque they will then ask you for the surplus amount to be returned to them, or even to a third party. Sometimes they request this money be sent back in order to ‘pay for shipping’, or another plausible sounding reason.
The cheque will clear into your bank account initially, however, a few weeks later it will be refused. Then, once it has been refused, the bank or building society will take back the full cheque amount out of your account, which will leave you without both the cheque money and any money that you passed on to make up the difference.
Money transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union
These services are only intended to be used between friends or family members, so if a stranger is suggesting them to you, you should be wary. Scammers and fraudsters will try and trick people into using these services. Sometimes they will do this by asking you to prove that you have funds by transferring money to a friend using one of these services. Then they will ask you to show them the receipt. All they need is the tracking number from your receipt and they will be able to collect your money with ease.
Also beware of sellers asking you to make payment via the PayPal 'friends and family' option. It means recipients don't have to pay fees for receiving payments, but it also means you are not covered by the Paypal 'Buyer protection'. This leaves you exposed, as it can be hard if not impossible to retrieve funds sent via the 'family and friends' option. You should only use this option to send money to people you know and trust. For online purchases always use the 'goods and services' payment option.
Payment protection offers
If you receive any emails that are claiming to be from Friday-Ad or any other well-known sites including PayPal or eBay and are offering you buyer protection or an online payment system then you should be wary. These can be fake and are known as ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails. Here at Friday-Ad, we don’t offer our customers a payment protection scheme, so any emails alluding to this are NOT genuine. If you do receive an email from a company offering you a payment or protection service, you should always go directly to the company’s website to look for details of the service. Do not use links provided in these emails.
These are very easily avoided, as they are obvious scams. You will get an email that asks for your help to take money out of a country. They will tell you that you will be paid a commission for your help and eventually, they will ask you for money to help them take their large amount of money out of the selected country. Once you pay them, you will never hear from them again.
Brokerage and importing payments
If a seller claims that there are brokerage fees and import duties or any other similar fees to be paid, don’t pay them! Friday-Ad is designed for local buyers and sellers to connect and meet in person. Import or similar fees should therefore never apply and are more than likely telltale signs of a scam. If you do pay these fees, then there is a large chance that you may never get the products you have ordered and will lose any money you have paid.
Emails asking for your personal details (login details, passwords, credit card details etc)
If you receive any emails from Friday-Ad, or any other reputable company, asking you to supply personal information via a reply email, embedded form or link, do not do it! These emails are a scam and are another example of ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails.
Always be wary of emails asking you to urgently send any personal information. Scammers can easily fake web-pages to make their emails look very authentic.
Friday-Ad will never send you emails requesting personal information in this way. If you do receive any such emails, do NOT follow the links in the email, and please report it to us immediately via email@example.com.
Avoid fake escrow sites
If a buyer or seller, or anyone else with whom you need to make a transaction, suggests using an escrow service to complete any payments, be very wary. These sites, though they may look official, are mostly run by fraudsters who will take your money, and won’t send you the product.
Fake working from home opportunities
When receiving an offer to work from home, be very careful as some of these are fronts for money laundering. You should avoid any working from home opportunity that involves you receiving cheques and cashing them as payment. Be wary of ‘jobs’ that don’t require a face to face interview or at least a video call. Other working from home scams can involve pyramid schemes. These require you to recruit other members to get paid.
Scams involving pet shipping
These scams are not that common, however, you should always proceed with caution when purchasing pets online. A ‘seller’ will offer you a ‘pet’ that needs to be shipped to you from overseas. These will usually be sought after breeds of dog such as Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas and Bulldogs. You will be asked to pay to ship the animal from overseas, or even sometimes to book a seat on a plane. If this is the case, the pet does NOT exist and scammers are simply trying to get you to pay money upfront.
Be cautious of dealers from overseas, and report any suspicious ads or advertisers to us, using the Report Ad button displayed on every advert on Friday-Ad. If you can supply additional information, please contact us using the Live Chat button below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.