It’s Rare but Beware of Scams
Most scam listings are published on free listing sites where the scammer cannot be traced. We, Powered by You Directories, encourage you to notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org of any suspicious listing or activity within the Powered By You Directories community. Lets work together to keep this directory safe for all.
How Scams May Work
Scammers know that finding the goods or services online can be hard work, and a seemingly good deal is hard to pass up. They’ve been known to often list items that don’t actually exist and request funds sent or wired immediately. The take-away: when you’re looking for a online goods or services, it’s caveat emptor — buyer beware.
Some scammers hijack a real listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The altered ad may even use the name of the person who posted the original ad. In other cases, scammers have hijacked the email accounts of property owners on reputable websites.
Phantom Goods or Services
Other rip-off artists make up listings for goods or services that aren’t real or don’t exist, and try to lure you in with the promise of low prices, or great quality. Their goal is to get your money before you find out.
Signs of a Scam
Being savvy when you’re in search of anything online a little due diligence is well worth the effort. Here are some signs you may be dealing with a scam:
They tell you to wire money
This is the surest sign of a scam… In this day and age there’s never a good reason to wire money to pay for a deposit, application fee, shipping charges, product or other fee. That’s true even if they send you an invoice, contract or agreement first. Wiring money is the same as sending cash — once you send it, you have no way to get it back.
They want a deposit to hold an item
It’s never a good idea to send money to someone you’ve never met in person for something you haven’t seen. If you can’t see the item or services yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it’s real, and that it is what was advertised. In addition to setting up a meeting, do a search on the owner and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.
They say they’re out of the country
But they have a plan to get the items into your hands. It might involve a lawyer or an “agent” working on their behalf. Some scammers even create fake products. Don’t send money to them overseas. If you can’t meet in person, see the items before you pay, keep looking.
How to Report Scams
If you find yourself the target of a online scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and to the FTC. Contact the website where the ad was posted, too.