Avoiding Scams
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Common Scam Tactics: Read the Signals

We've put together the most common scams that may occur on itsmymarket.com for your reference. Remember, always treat interested buyers with caution, and take action to make sure that the victim isn't you.

The Interested Buyer Who's Never Seen your Item

In this classic scenario, a scammer, who lives abroad, will tell the itsmymarket.com seller that he would like to send a cheque to cover the cost of an item, plus an additional amount to cover overseas shipping.

The problem? He has never seen the item, nor does he intend to.

If the seller agrees, the scammer will send a cheque/bankers draft to the seller. The seller pays this into their bank, and it will clear, making the funds available immediately. The scammer will ask the seller to get in touch with the shipping agent (another scammer) to arrange delivery. The shipping agent asks for the fee up front. As the original cheque to the seller has cleared, the seller agrees to this and sends the shipping agent the money (often by Western Union - for immediate clearance).

The seller is then contacted by the original scammer requesting a refund as they no longer wish to purchase the item. There is usually a hard luck story attached (common ones being an ill family member, or one who has been involved in an accident and requires expensive hospital treatment.

If the seller agrees to this, they will not have a problem refunding as it appears the money has cleared in their account. They then send a refund by Western Union, unaware that the real scam has yet to take place.

They will remain unaware, until the original cheque completes the bank clearing process (which can take weeks). On realising the original cheque was a fake, the bank withdraws the money from the sellers account, leaving them out of pocket - even up to thousands of pounds.

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The Over-Payment Scam

This trick works when a buyer sends a cheque to cover the cost of an item (whether they have seen the item or not).

They then contact the seller immediately telling them that the cheque has been made out for the wrong amount (commonly adding a zero on the end e.g. sending a cheque for £3,000 for a £300 item). They request that the seller cashes the cheque and sends the difference back.

The cheque for £3,000 would have cleared, only to be stopped weeks later by your bank. By this time, the amount you returned to the seller would have cleared and, as well as losing your item, you will also be left out of pocket by the £2,700 difference you sent back to the seller.

Variation on Over-Payment Scam

This type of scam is common among classified listing websites.

The enquirer will ask you to accept a cheque from a partner or client who owes him/her money, then forwarding the difference of the money onto him/her via a Western Union money transfer.

Usually an enquiry would start off seeming quite genuine, however, you may notice a few grammar and spelling mistakes as if English isn't the writer's first language.

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The Advance Fee Scam (419 Fraud)

This scam is not the most common and most likely to occur on itsmymarket.com, but we urge our users to be aware of the Advance fee fraud too. Often called the 419 Fraud relating to the section of the Nigerian penal code that prohibits such activity.

The scammer will offer their victim a large sum of money, but in order to access the funds, they will have to pay a fee in advance, then a second fee, and then a third.....until the victim realises they are being defrauded. As the fee is requested by Western Union (for immediate transfer), the victim will have no way of recouping their lost money.

In a typical Advance Fee email, the scammer will claim to be someone with access to a large amount of money, asking you for your help in getting access to the funds (often millions of pounds) - enticing you with a percentage in return. All the scammer needs - he says - is your bank account details to pay the money into.

If you respond to this request, it is your money that will be changing hands and you'll soon find out that the promised fortune does not actually exist. There are endless variations of how they'll rope you into sending them money, but one can be to help their ill relatives. Do not fall into these traps - be Scam Aware.

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Premium Rate Telephone Number Scams

Ensure the telephone number you are going to call is only one of itsmymarket.com's Privacy Telephone Numbers found on the right of the advert under the orange bar labelled "Contact Details" or in bold below the advert. If you are unsure of a telephone numbers then please contact us.

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