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Tips for Avoiding Scams/Bad Deals

Discussion in 'Reptile Vendor Reviews' started by PuffDragon, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. PuffDragon

    PuffDragon New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I believe people are born innately good but let's face it. There are people in our hobby/industry who are out to make a quick dollar. Whether it be selling WC as CB, misrepresenting animals, or just flat out taking someones money and running. However, there are some simple steps that can help you make a good purchase and have a successful deal. These tips are primarily for purchases via the world wide web.

    First, your best friend: Board of InquiryÃ?Æ?Ã?â??Ã?¢ââ??¬Ã?¡Ã?Æ?ââ?¬Å¡Ã?â??Ã?® <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13">http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/ ... y.php?f=13</a><!-- m -->
    If you are not already a member I encourage you to join this forum. Thousands of visiters and members are involved in this community and it should be the first location to look for any feedback on a seller. Not everyone agrees or likes the BOI but it definetly has its uses in helping to notify buyers of the bad guys in the industry. Use the search function and see what there is to be said on your potential seller!!!

    Granted not everyone (scammer using fake name) is on the BOI so the person you might be dealing with may not be listed. In such cases it is important to take the following precautions.

    Personal checks are a no-no as you say, and so are Western Union money transfers. Unless they are a long established and very reputable company, refuse to give any credit card/bank account info.

    I prefer postal money orders over all of the above. Accepting money through the USPS and not delivering what you paid for constitutes a federal offense. Not many people would like to be in trouble with the FBI.

    Paypal is another option but I have yet to use it in a sales transaction invloving reptiles (actually I am in the middle of making my first one so I will see how it goes). I have heard ups and downs in using it as a payment method, especially when an issue needs to be resolved. Anyone care to share their experience with it?

    In my opinion the best way to minimize being scammed is:

    1. Make sure the person selling the item has the item (pictures, dates help).

    2. Make sure the person is who he says he is (checking background, references, BOI).

    3. Have everything in writing (keep e-mails).

    4. Ask for a real phone number (no cell phones) and an address where to ship the order or where it is coming from (most times on the mailing slip but you never know).

    5. Verify the phone number, the address, and the name match (reverse look-up using 411.com).

    6. Obtain references from the dealer (sure these can be friends of theirs but having a character reference doesn't hurt. Besides they might give you a contact who is not happy with them and lets you in on their scamming ways).

    7. Trust your gut (if any red flags go up in your mind take a step back and evaluate the deal effectively).

    8.Save all reciepts/paperwork/emails.

    9. Mail money via USPS Certified and save reciepts as proof.

    10. Make sure the animal represented is the species you want. There are so many species, morphs, subspecies out there that sometimes a picture cannot do the animal justice.

    These are just some things that come to mind when trying to make a deal. It seems like a lot of work but trust me, you will be glad you did your homework in the long run. If anyone has any other tips or suggestions please add them!!!! I hope to make this thread an ongoing resource for us.


    http://www.scambusters.org/Scambusters10.html
  2. AB^

    AB^ New Member 5 Year Member

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    I just want to point out (from personal experience) that even big name, well known dealers can have bad deals. Make sure to get a guarantee from them in writing (like email, or a screen shot of their website as websites can be altered/modified.) If you have any questions about a situation that may come up that isnt listed in their gaurantee then email them and ask. Anybody can have many good deals and people consider them a good guy, but IMO what makes a good guy is how they handle the bad deals.

    Along with my bad transaction with a person who's articles I have been reading for years, I recently spoke with a peer who also had a bad deal with a well known person in the reptile world of which I have been reading this persons books and articles for years as well : /

    Just because someone is well known doesnt mean they have good ethics or business practices.


    I have also done deals with people I could not verify any information on. They were just private breeders and not a registered business. I
    could not locate any info about them on the BOI either. I bit the bullet and had a very smooth transaction of which went better than most of the actual businesses and large name breeders I have done transactions with.


    I also want to point out a few other things. Shipping of live animals should only be done next day. Also animals should only be shipped in fair weather. Mon,Tues,Wed are the only acceptable shipping days. Any other days are unacceptable. Anything other than these should be a warning sign immediatley.

    I would always ask for multiple shots of the animal besides what is posted in the ad. this not only ensures they actually have the animal advertised but can give you a better idea of the condition of the animal.
  3. Lexi

    Lexi New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    ha i feel like an idiot.
  4. PuffDragon

    PuffDragon New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Lexi,
    you were a victim of a scammer and should not be ashamed. Hold your head up!
  5. Lexi

    Lexi New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    thanks puff.. Can you find stuff out about reptileGuru?
  6. PuffDragon

    PuffDragon New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    lmao come on now....I just gave you the tools on how to do this.
  7. Lexi

    Lexi New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I know but i dont know how to search anything on the BOI.. for some reason im BOI retarded
  8. AB^

    AB^ New Member 5 Year Member

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    If I remember correctly you have to be a member and logged in to use their (the BOI) search feature.
  9. DZLife

    DZLife New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    AB is 100%; in fact, I just created my own account on the BIO for research on a seller!
  10. Lexi

    Lexi New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Yeah i just made an account as well
  11. Nero

    Nero New Member 5 Year Member

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    what does Boi stand for?
  12. ZEKE

    ZEKE New Member 5 Year Member

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    BOI means Board Of Inquiry
  13. tupinambis

    tupinambis New Member 5 Year Member

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    BOI - Board of Inquiry

    Just to add a little further warning - do NOT use PayPal. PayPal has their little motto of checking into fraudulent dealers, but I've been on the ugly end of fraudulent dealers way too often through PayPal, and PayPal has NEVER ONCE gotten me my money back. They will try various avenues that they have access to in order to try getting your money back, but the fact is, once the cash has been exchanged and is in the hands of a private individual, they have pretty much NO recourse whatsoever in getting your funds returned. They depend on the character of the person you did your transaction with, and lets face it, they already took the money fraudulently in the first place, they are not likely to listen to their conscience and hand it back. PayPal is great for dealing with purchasing dry goods online from registered businesses, it is LOUSY for doing transactions between individuals. Do your homework first, find out all you can about the person you are dealing with.
  14. DZLife

    DZLife New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Hey, I paid Bobby using paypal....is he going to rip me off 0.0
    Naw, in all honesty, I agree with you.
  15. DaveDragon

    DaveDragon New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I'm taking money for the TeguTalk t-shirts using PayPal. I don't think I'm going to rip anyone off. But you never know!!! :mrgreen:
  16. Nero

    Nero New Member 5 Year Member

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    Is pay pal the only way to order one of those shirts?? I use to have a pay pal for Ebay but I forgot my account info.
  17. DaveDragon

    DaveDragon New Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Yes. It's safer for me.

    Go to the PayPal page and click on "password" in the Log In box. Enter the email address you used and the verification code and they will send you a new password (I think, I'm not going to finish it). I had to do it a couple of years ago when I forgot mine.
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    i used paypall or all my buying of reptiles and rep stuff.
  19. MadameButterfly

    MadameButterfly New Member

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    I'm actually suprised people still fall for online scams like this, I play a game called www.torn.com and you really wouldn't believe the amount of people that scam people for fake cash on the game, I actually run a website listing the scammers on the game here http://scammerhunt.myfunforum.org/ and no mess no matter how updated I keep the list I get constant mails ingame asking what I'll send as compensation and then they get majorly irritated when I explain that I just maintain the list I don't compensate for their stupidity,

    The simple fact is at the end of the day if you are sending real life cash to a stranger then do your homework and be as sure as f**k you can trust them, you don't and shouldn't need a list of steps to tell you that, it is common sense, ask yourself this, would you just hand over 300 quid to a complete stranger in real life just because they come up to you and say "Aww yeah mate, don't worry mate I'll send it back"...?

    Common sense isn't really that common but stupidity is rife at times....

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