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Buy / Sell / Wanted Scam Warning


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We’ve had a number of reports of scammers joining SGL and pming members regarding their classified or wanted posts.

The message reads along the lines of - I saw your advert and my uncle / stepfather has one of these for sale his email is .....

This is a common scam and if you email that address they will then try to trick you into overpaying, paying and not receiving the goods or even thinking you’ve been paid and sending them the goods.

Please report any such PMs to us using the report button so we can ban them.

Any invitation to take the conversion away from the forum and into email, particularly with new members should be met with suspicion!

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We’ve had a number of reports of scammers joining SGL and pming members regarding their classified or wanted posts. The message reads along the lines of - I saw your advert and my uncle / stepfat

If any of you get a PM from new member Jeff753, please ignore it. Jeff753 has been identified as a scammer and is now banned.

We are banning these folk as fast as we can. I would ask everyone to remain vigilant and hit that report button at the slightest suspicion. I'd rather have a few false alarms than have a member scamme

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9 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

Thank you mate. What about as a seller? Any tips? 

Maybe others can chime in - I’ve not done any buying / selling for years. I would always stick to PayPal though and I would always ship so there is proof of delivery.

Either that or cash on collection or bank transfer.

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Don’t let the buyer arrange their own courier. 
A freind got ripped off after selling several £k worth of high end model making machinery.

Buyers “courier” collected and buyer then used PayPal refunds/claims process, saying item wasn’t delivered.Got his money back and disappeared !

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15 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

Thank you mate. What about as a seller? Any tips? 

If selling advertise a price including fees if you are going to post the item. This gives the buyer protection in case there is an issue and if the item has to be returned paypal will pay the return postage (there may be some requirements for the buyer's account to reach before this is available, but as a regular paypal user I have used it on a couple of items). Take some photos before you post as proof of condition and use a postage service that offers proof of delivery, not just proof of postage. 

If you are selling the item face to face then use cash/bank transfer/paypal without fees. If you sell with fees the buyer can then claim the item was never delivered, and get refunded the money they have paid because you have no proof of delivery. 

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I have done many purchases on here and the process has been great and I have used PayPal in all of my transactions, I have not sold anything yet on here but I will be soon. I have only ever sold on Ebay and have not had a problem when using PayPal.

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Grant, thanks for the warning, although now you've highlighted their 'MO' I think the story will change.. so extra vigilance needed

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Nearly all my Accessories apart from Scope's and mount sourced from SGL. I have bought from trusted members on here who have good reputation. As per the rules selling on behalf without asking a Mod should ring alarm bells and potential buyers be aware. No photo no likey also (actual item as you can see it exists). My experience here has been 100% and plus even being sent an item to try then pay (now that's trustworthy) as per paypal and ff or fees it depends how much you trust the seller. All my transactions using PP FF the postage has been recorded delivery and proof of postage via a PM. . just my 2p worth 

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When they scammed me I was sent a photo of the filter I was buying , the last email was as I refused to send a screenshot of my PayPal account the deal was off , I reported it to the Mods on here also action fraud uk  and PayPal still not heard from PayPal 

One thing I can say is the Mods on here moved very quickly on this matter 

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10 minutes ago, Neil H said:

When they scammed me I was sent a photo of the filter I was buying , the last email was as I refused to send a screenshot of my PayPal account the deal was off , I reported it to the Mods on here also action fraud uk  and PayPal still not heard from PayPal 

One thing I can say is the Mods on here moved very quickly on this matter 

the Mods on here are great if you suspect an ad is suspect click on report button I think it is. But this does not help your dilemma. Lets hope you recuperate your loss via PP fingers crossed for you mate.

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If it's become a problem then why not limit access to both For Sale and Wanted to members over 25 posts?

 

"Access

Everyone can view SGL classified adverts.

Post farming for the purpose of gaining access will result in a ban from the classified section.

You may not buy or sell items on behalf of someone else - no exceptions.

Access is a privilege that can be revoked by the moderation team, at their discretion."

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I usually Goggle the buyer or seller, generally there will be internet history of some kind. Memberships of other sites, Facebook, Twitter other Astro related sites. Even if you can only verify they are using a real name and address.

Unfortunately their will always be the odd "bad apples" , SGL is safer than most places on the net, thanks to everyones vigilance.

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On 16/01/2021 at 15:47, Grant said:

We’ve had a number of reports of scammers joining SGL and pming members regarding their classified or wanted posts.

The message reads along the lines of - I saw your advert and my uncle / stepfather has one of these for sale his email is .....

This is a common scam and if you email that address they will then try to trick you into overpaying, paying and not receiving the goods or even thinking you’ve been paid and sending them the goods.

Please report any such PMs to us using the report button so we can ban them.

Any invitation to take the conversion away from the forum and into email, particularly with new members should be met with suspicion!

I thought that you had to do a certain number of posts on this site before you were allowed to advertise equipment for sale.

John 

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1 minute ago, johnturley said:

I thought that you had to do a certain number of posts on this site before you were allowed to advertise equipment for sale.

John 

No - that restriction was removed some years back now but, that isn't what's happening in these situations - legitimate members who are listing stuff for sale or stuff wanted are being contacted via PM by relatively new members and this is where the scam is occurring. Restricting who can post adverts wouldn't stop this particular issue.

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It is my understanding that posting wanted adverts is far more risky than posting for sale adverts. Would it be possible to put a quite restrictive post limit on the ability to even view the wanted section? Say 200 posts or something that is beyond the level of simple post farming? Not counting posts in certain sections would also help this. I believe that as things stand only posts in the Lounge are not counted, but I would extend this to both the for sale and welcome sections.

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5 minutes ago, Ricochet said:

It is my understanding that posting wanted adverts is far more risky than posting for sale adverts. Would it be possible to put a quite restrictive post limit on the ability to even view the wanted section? Say 200 posts or something that is beyond the level of simple post farming? Not counting posts in certain sections would also help this. I believe that as things stand only posts in the Lounge are not counted, but I would extend this to both the for sale and welcome sections.

That seems like a great idea.

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I put a wanted advert for an eyepiece last March & I was messaged privately to email direct if I wanted to buy it. The person had only just joined & had zero ratings. I Ignored that message & as I was suspicious. 

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1 minute ago, Sky-searcher said:

I put a wanted advert for an eyepiece last March & I was messaged privately to email direct if I wanted to buy it. The person had only just joined & had zero ratings. I Ignored that message & as I was suspicious. 

Please report this so we can investigate more.

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I purchased an expensive camera lens from a guy who appeared to have joined SGL just for the purpose of selling stuff.

Had a couple of PMs with him and took a chance on it and all was well.

As soon as he had sold a few bits he never posted on here again.

Dave

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It only takes one to spoil it for us all.

Even so called well respected members can be scammers or dishonest. A sad fact of life.

As I previously posted some years ago here on SGL, I was ripped off for a great deal of money by an SGL member who was also a well respected member of Sunderland Astro Club where I originally met him. Even after it came to light many still refused to believe what he had done for some time. 13 of us lost in total around £76,000 and the HM Revenue something similar I believe in unpaid VAT.

We must be vigilant, but it is a difficult balancing act to follow. I do not want to distrust anyone, but I am sorry but I take everything now with a pinch of salt.

The larger SGL gets I suspect the more vigilant we all must become.

 

 

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What happened to me was something similar.  Only other way around.   I mailed one person on ABS that was looking for eyepieces.  We had contact and even came to a deal.  It was just that i havent had any experience with transactions through paypal.  The buyer is propbably 100% trusted, also SGL member, and advertised on ABS.   What made this small deal crash was that paypal stalled the payement.  Wasnt sure if an actual sending would make the receiver confirm this with paypal so they would release the payement.   After some contact with paypal, without any new developments but the guarantee that the buyer will get his money payed back, i’ve let it for what it is.  Maybe i was to afraid to send an end up empty handed.   
 
selling and buying through sending is always risky.  One party will always be the one that takes the risks.  Whatever safeguards you will implement, it will always be based on trust.  
 

We have in the Netherlands a site that offers a similar safety option.  You pay the website, the website stalls the money untill the buyer confirms the package is received, and the seller gets the payement.   Even this option gained lots of complaints.  Buyers just dont confirm the package has arrived and the scam is complete😬.   The crisis we are all in let us do massive online shopping but also has made some people try to make money in an illegal way.   

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