In this time where we are all asked to pull together for humanity it goes without saying that the low life that normally dwells on the bottom of the pool has seen a chance to rip people off and has raised its ugly head from the depths.
Now I write this as a forewarning for you, ignorance of the ways and means of the Internet are no excuse. If you are going to use something learn how to do so safely and competently. Now I have had a phone call from someone who had been ripped of on the BMFA site by a Scammer. He was quite obviously phoning around all the contacts he could find for ‘Dave from Norfolk’. A needle in a haystack but I hope he felt better by the end of the phone call.
You have probably seen all the notes on the BMFA sales page to the effect of don’t trust this man he is a ‘Scammer’, he has ripped me off for x pounds. Don’t get caught as I did! There are loads of them. Way too many in actual fact.
He got caught because he opened the door to the low life fraternity. He posted a wanted advert with his phone number and email displayed for all to see. How many times do you have to be told? It is a no do!
These people survive without working, by living on your hard earned money if you let them. First off let’s stop making them sound something different. I keep on saying they are not scammers they are thieving no good scum. Let’s call a spade a spade for God’s sake and stop flowering everything up.
So we know now that these thieving scum target the Wanted ad’s. Why? Because you are easy pickings. You want something for a good price and as soon as they dangle that price in front of you they hook you by the top lip. Now to some degree they do work to try to get your money. They scour the web looking for details of what you are after and download a few pictures that they can play you with. So they know the basic price new, and price second hand, they dangle the carrot with a good price and whack, you take the bait.
They will come up with a multitude of reasons why they cannot accept PayPal and need a bank transfer. No you cannot pick it up I am currently away from home blah blah blah. As soon as you start to get this bullshit get the hackles up and beware. They will have an answer for most of the queries you send their way. They have the pictures to send you when you request them and the main thing is “They sound plausible”. They appear as fellow modellers, they will drop names, and they have enough knowledge to play you, they have done some homework. You part with your money and they disappear. Scam complete.
So what to do. Firstly if you are going to use any sales site, and you post a wanted ad use the facility within the sales site for contact. This way you hope to have bone-fide responses only. On most sales sites by using the inbuilt communications only registered members can respond to your sale. NEVER pay by PayPal Gift or Bank Transfer as you will have no come back. Most legitimate sellers will know what the PayPal fees will be and the postage costs before they advertise. It is usual practice to include these in the price. If they don’t then be suspicious. If they couldn’t be bothered to find out the costs treat them with suspicion. At the worst they are too idle to do the work to sell their item without trying for extra costs.
Sadly in this day and age you have to treat everyone you don’t know as a member of the low life dwellers until such time as you prove to yourself that they can be trusted. Always remember ‘Trust has to be earned’.