Why your offer to buy or sell may be a scam email

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Gentle Giant

Giant Admin for a Day
Staff member
If you see it posted here it IS a scam.

Are all offers to buy or sell on the internet a scam? Definitely and positively not. Most offers you get on shopping websites are probably legitimate offers to buy or sell. However, there are certain indications, as below, that suggest or even directly indicate that you've got a scammer on your hands. Caution is the watchword.

What's the scam?
In this subforum you are going to run into the fake check fraud. In the fake check scam you are asked to sell something for which you will be paid by check or money order. The check or money order will always be for way more than what you want to sell something for. The fake check (or money order) scam is just that-- all you are ever going to get is a fake check or money order. You can read elsewhere (like here) about why you don't want to have a fake check for any reason.

If you have read about how to identify a scam email (which is here) then in addition to things like bad grammar, poor spelling, even poorer punctuation, the use of free email servers, etc. these are some other things that make these "offers" completely bogus.

1. I want to buy or sell something to you...

And you have nothing that you have offered to buy or sell on the internet.... that should tell you something. The main thing it should tell you is, delete that email.

2. The item I want to buy (from you) is in America (or the U.K. etc) but I am in Africa.
This is usually how it starts. This spells fake check scam. They will tell you that they have gone to Africa to do missionary work or they're an engineer who just got an amazing job in Africa. They want to buy it and send you... a check or money order. At best it's a fake check or money order and at worst it's stolen. Whatever they want to buy they are going to offer way, way more than you are asking for it. They will send you the fake check or money order, ask you to deposit it, and then wire the "difference" back to them. You can do that and all you will end up with is a fake check, a balance due to your bank, and an unsold item. If they tell you a story like this, run as far away from it as you can and just delete the emails. They don't want to buy anything from you. They want to steal your money.
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