We all know the internet if full of scammers. Although I would like to think that those registering here are trustworthy, we are available to anyone on the internet so we have to be practical. Avoid scams by following these suggestions:
1 Keep it Local
This is the beauty of local classified ads. You are dealing with your neighbors and this is the first way to avoid a scam. Sites like Craigslist and Yahoo are full of scammers. PrincetonAds intends on staying local but we are on the internet so always we aware that anyone can post an ad here.
2 Deal in Cash
Fake checks and money orders are common scams, and you will be responsible if you get a fake check. Wiring money is always a sign that you are going to get scammed. Most payments made this way are a fraud. Think about it. Who wires money to someone you can meet in person locally?
A common scam is when a buyer sends you a check that is MORE than what you asked for and asking you as the seller to cut another check for the difference. Make sure the check is not fraudulent first. Also, never ever (ever ever ever) give your personal financial information to someone. All and all it’s easier to deal with the old greenback.
3 Avoid the Babble
Scammers often blab about things that don’t matter with the sale of merchandise. Avoid people who refer to their sick husband, religion and who use words like “faith” and “God” in ways that makes no sense in a business transactions.
Example: “I have faith in God that I can trust you and going into a transaction with you.” Um, that’s just crazy talk or sign of someone scamming from out of the country. Move on to someone else.
4 Exchange in Person
Always try to exchange in person instead of mailing money. If someone is going to rent your apartment or buy your car, they will meet you in person. If they claim they are constantly traveling or will have their assistant deal with you be warned. PrincetonAds is local and should be connecting people within about 5-10 miles from each other so exchanging in person is doable.
5 Avoid Any Terms of Buyer Protection
PrincetonAds is not responsible for transaction scams and mishaps but we’ll do a lot to help you avoid getting scammed. If any ad say “buyer protection” or “certified seller” this is sign of a scam. We don’t provide any protection (powerhouse Ebay does this).
6 Ask for Photos
I’m not sure I could buy anything without looking at it. If you see an ad that doesn’t have a photo, contact the seller and don’t make offers until you get a picture if that’s what you want. At the very least, they should offer for you to see the item in person (see rule #1, keep it local) If they ignore you, look for something else.
7 Know the Price
Having the knowledge of what an average price is for a car, apartment or item will help you avoid getting scammed. Use sources like other ads, friends’ advice, websites and Kelly Blue Book for cars. If something seems too good to be true, it just might be.
If you think you have been scammed, contact the non-emergency number for your local police department — they may be able to offer advice about your options. In addition, Contact Us so we can look into flagging that user as a scammer.