Just wanted to remind everyone the importance of letting staff know about potential suspects. We’re mostly talking about new users who inquire about your URL/handle or ask you to go off-site immediately.
Just the other day we had the following scenario:
- A new user inquired a seller for his URL (Fanpage).
- The new user proceeded to contact the seller via his Fanpage.
- The seller took the bait, got scammed.
- The new user (now a certified scammer) COMES BACK to SWAPD as a NEW member.
- Keeps asking others for their URLs and to go off-site, to find more victims.
- To add insult to injury, the same scammer who scammed the poor seller tried to “help him” in his topic.
After reviewing the inbox of the scammer, we concluded it was a regular scammer (won’t mention his name as he probably gets a kick out of this by now), who conned a bunch of people. We’ve noticed that the scammer was able to contact 20-30 users at a time with every new account he makes on SWAPD, only fishing for info. In many instances, this could have been stopped if our regular members flagged the user right away when the scammer asked to go off-site or he immediately contacted you on the platform you’re selling.
So, we encourage our members to flag at the first sign of trouble!
Heck, even if you suspect a new member (even if he hasn’t done anything wrong), FLAG US. We will check his IP/Phone/Social profile to see if it checkouts. Otherwise, you may be giving your URL/@Handle to someone who will spend the next weeks trying to steal it from you, whether it’s through social engineering or stupid software that checks whether you’re moving the @handle somewhere else.
How to spot iffy buyers/sellers?
This is a tough one, but asking simple questions can help you asses the information better. A first sign of someone being malicious is if he is a new user and all of a sudden he knows how to use SWAPD very well. For example, if you see a new user tagging admins (new users bearly know how this site works and that you can @tag users here), that’s a sign he/she was once here before, most likely a banned user.
If you suspect something is up, asking the following questions may help:
- Before I give you the URL/@Handle, can you tell me what is your budget?
- There have been a lot of scammers around here asking for @handles only, mind telling me a little about yourself? I want to feel more comfortable knowing who sees my property.
- If you don’t mind me asking, why do you need this particular platform? I want to make sure I don’t sell to a spammer.
- Would you mind if I request that SWAPD staff ID verify you? It would make me feel safer as I want to protect my property from scammers.
Read and analyze the answers carefully. Scammers will usually:
- Give odd reasons.
- Speak poor English (not always the case, but in plenty of times this is true).
- Give unreasonably high offers.
- Easily agree to everything you say.
Any suspicious activity warrants a flag. Don’t worry, we won’t be mad if you flag too much, we can always click “ignore flag” on our end if you become too paranoid We just want you to protect your properties better and keep the community safer by flagging suspicious members, especially ones that tell you right away to:
- Send a message from the account your selling as proof.
- Want you to contact them via SKYPE/WHATSAPP/etc.
In 95% of cases we’ve seen, this means trouble.
Thank you for reading and stay safe!