Online shopping is a fast and convenient of shopping, but as with traditional retail shopping you need to be equally as careful and act intelligently when shopping online.
As you would expect allsortsofstuff.net is concerned about your safety and suggests you consider the following safety tips before entering into a transaction with a seller, and in particular we strongly advise caution before entering into an international transaction.
1. Getting information: Once you have expressed your interest to the seller, ask as many questions as you may have about the product. You should get all the required information about the product's condition and history. Ask the seller to send the pictures of the product to you.
2. Divulging your personal information: It is suggested not to provide your personal information like home address and phone number to the seller in your initial conversation. However, you may need to provide this information to the seller after he has responded satisfactorily to the questions raised by you and seems credible. If e-mail has been the mode of communication between the two of you, please talk to the seller over the phone on his number.
3. Meeting the seller: It is important that you meet the seller in person before buying the product. Before your meeting, talk to the seller over the phone. Do not just rely on e-mail conversation. Insist the seller to meet you at a public place like a restaurant or a cafe where other people are also around. Inform your family member or friend about your meeting and have someone accompanying you.
4. Seeing the product: It is essential to see and inspect the product on your own before buying. For example, if the product in question is a car, please make sure that the car is registered in the seller's name, go for a test drive to assess its condition, you may also seek a car mechanic's suggestion. Do not be afraid to step back form the deal if the product description/picture is not the same as given by the seller in his offer.
5. Getting the best price: Always do a thorough research about the product you intend to buy. You must be aware of the market value of the product and keep relevant documents to support your valuation handy at the time of meeting. You may negotiate on the price but avoid insulting the seller by quoting unacceptably low price.
6. Making the payment: Cash is the best form of payment in a transaction through online classifieds. At allsortsofstuff.net we strongly suggest you to keep away from wire transfer of money or issuing personal cheques. Never divulge your personally identifiable information like credit card or bank account information to anyone. You should also avoid carrying excess cash with you at the time of meeting. If the transaction involves significant amounts of money, you may carry a bankers draft at the time of meeting. Do not forget to ask for a receipt duly signed by the seller.
7. Reporting a suspicious activity: If you have come across a suspicious user or want to share an unpleasant experience at allsortsofstuff.net, please report the matter to us immediately. We request your support to keep allsortsofstuff.net a safe place for all users. Note: Stay away from sellers who seem to be suspicious or hide facts from you at any point, no matter how lucrative the offer is.
Possible fraudulent sellers?
1. If the price seems unreal, it is probably is, therefore a fraud.
2. Never pay before the delivery of the product if you do not know the seller. Use the "cash on delivery" system.
3. Use online payment systems (e.g.: PayPal, Google Checkout etc.), which offer many forms of protection.
4. Never send money through bank transfer and never use a wire transfer.
5. Never provide data about your credit card or other documents through e-mail.
6. Use the payment systems which offer you better and more warranties.
7. The ads with grammar mistakes or major spelling mistakes are suspicious.
Possible fraudulent buyers?
1. They assure they will pay half before the arrival of the product and half later.
2. They never offer a telephone number to check their identity.
3. They want to pay by cheque/check.
4. When the buyer offers a more money.
If you have doubts about a classified advertisement and suspect a possible fraudulent act from the seller or buyer, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org explaining the case.
Scams and Fraudsters
Most people you meet online are honest and genuine people. Everyday thousands of people successfully connected through allsortsofstuff.net but, as in all walks of life, there are always the few bad apples.
Here are some key signs to help you spot the few unscrupulous people online.
1. Requests to use money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram. These services are not meant for transactions between strangers. In our experience they’re favoured by fraudsters. One popular trick is to ask you to prove that you have funds by sending money to a friend or relative via these services and show them the receipt. All they need is the tracking number from your receipt and they’ll be able to collect your money. Any requests by strangers to use these services in any way should sound off alarm bells and shouldn’t be followed.
2. An email allegedly from allsortsofstuff.net (or another company) asking for your personal details - logins/passwords/credit card details. You get an email that claims to be from allsortsofstuff.net or another company and requests that you reply or follow a link to provide personal information. These are fake and are known as ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails. Any emails which combine urgency with a need for personal details should be treated with caution, no matter whom they appear to be from. Website pages can be easily faked. allsortsofstuff.net and most other companies will never send out such emails. If you get an email alleging to be from allsortsofstuff.net asking for your personal information, do not follow any links provided in the email.
3. Payment or protection services allegedly offered by allsortsofstuff.net or other well known sites such as eBay or PayPal. You get an email that claims to be from allsortsofstuff.net, eBay, PayPal or another company and offers buyer protection or an online payment system. This could be directly in connection with a transaction through someone you’ve met online. Or perhaps the buyer or seller suggests you use a payment or protection service from one of these companies and sends you to a link to follow instructions. These are fake and are known as ‘spoof’ or ‘phishing’ emails. allsortsofstuff.net does not offer any form of payment scheme or protection. While other companies may offer payment or protection schemes, the email or instructions you have received may not be genuine. If you receive an email alleging to be from a company offering a service, always go directly to the company’s official website and look for details of the service.
4. Cheque overpayment. A buyer, prospective tenant or even an employer will send you a cheque worth more than the value of the items/rent/job. They’ll then ask for the surplus money to be returned to them or a third party, for example ‘to pay for shipping’. The cheque will clear into your bank account, only to be refused weeks later. At this point, the bank/building society will take the full cheque amount back out of your account. This would then leave you out of pocket for the amount on the cheque and the amount you passed on as the difference.
5. Fake escrow sites. A buyer/seller or prospective tenant/landlord suggests using an escrow service to complete the transaction. These escrow websites often may look official, but are actually run by fraudsters. They’ll take your money and never send you the product.
6. Payment for brokerage/importing. A seller claims that there are brokerage fees, import duties or similar fees required to get an item into the country. Don’t pay these fees. You’ll most likely never get the product and will lose any money you paid. Always remember, allsortsofstuff.net is designed for meeting up to deal with people face to face.
7. Work from home. Some work from home opportunities are fronts for money laundering. A key warning sign should be any 'job' that involves you receiving cheques and cashing them. These jobs are sometimes referred to as ‘money mules’. Another warning sign is a job that doesn’t require a face to face interview. Other work from home offers can be pyramid schemes which require you to recruit other members to get paid. For example, an ad might say that you can make £100 an hour by stuffing envelopes. But to make that money, you need to sell the system to others.
8. 419 scams. You get an email saying that your help is needed to take money out of a country and that you’ll be paid a commission for your help. Eventually the fraudsters will ask you for money to help them take the large amount of money out of the country. Once you pay, you’ll never hear from them again.
9. Pet shipping scams. A seller will claim to have a pet and will offer to ship them from an overseas location, or even get you to book seats on a plane. These are usually sought after dog breeds such as English Bulldogs, Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas. These ads are usually accompanied by staged pictures. The pets don't exist and the fraudsters are simply trying to get you to pay money upfront. Remember, be wary of overseas sellers.