OK I've ran across 3 scammers in the last week (technically two since one of them used two logins). I unfortunately fell for the first, but not the other two. Here are some red flags.
[b55a3050072]Signing up with a different email then their paypal email[/b55a3050072] - First this is not automatically a problem. For instance, I use a different email for my mail then my paypal email. However, both of them have 'cubbieco' in them so you can tell they are the same. If a person's email is totally different, then that might be a red flag you should watch out for.
[b55a3050072]Bad english[/b55a3050072] - Most of the freebie sites are USA and Canada only. Generally speaking people in these countries can type a proper sentence. The last scammer obviously didn't speak English that well. There are legitimate traders who have less than perfect English skills (people living in the US that weren't born here). Just consider it a red flag.
[b55a3050072]Super rush for payment[/b55a3050072] - I'm not saying you should make everybody wait, but the scammers were quite impatient.
You can add more to the list.
[b55a3050072]What to do if you suspect a scammer[/b55a3050072] - You can't automatically not pay somebody just because you think they are a scammer. However, you can ask the freebie site to verify their login to make sure they haven't violated the terms of service (yet). It will take a couple of days. Don't pay them until this verification is finished. Let them know what you are doing and why. Any non-scammer should understand. If they threaten to go to the mods about you, just let them. The mods will see that you are verifying their signup and let it slide for a couple of days.
Finally, [b55a3050072]do a quick forum search for their user name[/b55a3050072] before paying them. If they have gone red for somebody else they might already have a listing in the scammer forum. You should wait until that is resolved before paying them yourself.
Excellent and timely post. I think I was got by one of the same people as you. Being new the level of scamming is becoming quite frustrating.
One other thing could be added to your list is getting the persons paypal email ahead of time and checking their 'seller rating'. This provides much info including number of verified transactions, length of membership and account type. Non-US accounts should be a big red flag. Wish I'd thought to look at it sooner (
Great post. Bad english is very true. Every single one of my scammers I've had has had bad english.
Here's one to add though check their recent trades. If they've completed say 3 trades in one day...or you see them posting in every other trade thread asking for trades...somethings up. Normal greeners like to take it slow, so they don't have too much on their plate at a time. Some scammers will green on as many as they can as quick as they can before they get caught. Every single one of my scammers I've caught has been involved in 5 or more trades in the past 2 days.
[b7602a47be5]Here's a tip to avoid getting scammed as well![/b7602a47be5] I have a policy (Credit for this policy goes to BigWarBird) where I pay on green to anyone who can prove that they have passed approval for another member or another site. This means they can either send me a picture of a payment they've received from a freebie network, or say connect me to another member they have greened for and that member has received their payment through his referral. Through this policy I have not been scammed once, but have caught many in the process!
Good post. I've also found scammers to make very few posts. So if I see someone with 60/70 trades and zero posts, I get suspicious.