Classified Scams and How to Avoid Them

Classified websites, such as TreadTrader, are an easy and efficient way to pass along things you do not need anymore, get good deals on buying/selling without involving any mediator, and pass along quality stuff. However, like every other place, there are individuals who work by taking advantage of gullible online shoppers and deal seekers by scamming them.

At TreadTrader, our fundamental aim is to prevent our members from getting scammed. For the benefit of our community, we have listed some common scams and their telltale signs that will help you identify one before the offenders take advantage of you.


Advance Payment Scam

As a buyer, we encourage you to inspect anything listed for sale on TreadTrader. It is your right to ask questions, inspect the product and meet the seller before conducting the deal. In an ideal scenario, always go for a local deal that lets you meet the seller face to face. Avoid using unsafe payment methods, like wire transfers, as they are the prime ways of scamming customers.

As an extension of unsafe payments, some scammers may ask you to wire some amount of money in advance to lay your claim on the product. Some of them might try to touch your humanitarian vein by claiming financial hardships. Please do not fall for this age old modus operandi and send advance payments. If you do, your money is all gone.


The Great Deal Scam

The great deal scam generally involves an outstanding deal that grabs eyeballs. While sometimes this might be a genuine deal, most of the times it is too good to be true. Such a deal does not exist, in most cases, and the seller is simply trying to lure customers into a trap. Sometimes, this kind of scam is an extension of the advance payment scam, where the seller lets you put a claim on a very good deal if you send some token amount in advance.

Mostly, the best way to avoid such a scam is to remember the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Therefore, it is always best to qualify the deal and check it for authenticity. Some sellers might go through the deal and complete it, only to send a fake product to the buyer and vanish with the money. Therefore, it is always best to examine the product thoroughly and pay once the deal is over and you have checked the product upon receiving.  


The Overpayment Scam

The overpayment scam follows the classic model of sending an exceptionally huge amount in the form of a bad check and then asking the second party to send back some part of the difference. Some buyers might entice you into accepting a check of a much larger amount than your quoted price. This will never work in your favor and you will end up losing the product and the cash, both.

To best avoid this kind of scam, always look for local buyers who are willing to pay cash. Encourage them to inspect the product thoroughly and establish trust between each other. Meet them locally, conduct a cash transaction and give away your product with all the formalities.

While the above types of scams are not comprehensive by any means, they are the general ones that are the most rampant. We encourage you to take cue from the above examples and use it to avoid any other scams that might target you. Going through TreadTrader’s Safety guidelines is another way to learn more about how to avoid getting scammed. If you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to get in touch with us. We hope you have a safe and satisfactory time shopping at TreadTrader.