Reminder: Please be on the lookout for classified ad and parts scammers

Discussion in 'System Announcements' started by Sean, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi All,

    I have discovered at least one recent account using the private message system to scam a couple of APUG members. We are usually able to discover and ban these scammers within hours thanks to reported private messages, but they are becoming more sophisticated.

    basically:
    1. they create an account
    2. they bomb dozens of APUG members via private messaging, looking for items (in classifieds and forums)
    3. as quickly as possible get those members outside of APUG and conversing through email (they know we are likely to quickly ban them on APUG)
    4. they come off as friendly, well spoken, professional and arrange a deal (usually via money order)

    Ways to approach this:
    -report any suspicious PM activity to us: "hey, out of nowhere this new member is trying to sell me something". These reports help us shut it down quickly
    -don't be quick to trust a new APUG member with little to no activity that is offering you something, there is even the possibility an old or established APUG account has been compromised as well.
    -ideally, always use paypal or a form of payment that offers you some protection, no protection no sale
    -try to find out more about the seller (personal web page, social media, ebay history, APUG feedback, etc)

    I'm open to any further suggestions on how we can manage this better. This particular scammer circumvented a few system protections that are designed to limit private messages on new accounts. They did this by appearing a model citizen long enough to use the private message system. The most brute force method of ending this is making private messaging a subscriber only option. Scammers generally will never subscribe to a forum due to the subscription payment creating an identity trail. Taking drastic action like that could upset a lot of members though. We might have to stick with "buyer beware" in this case.

    Thanks,
    Sean
     
  2. Thank you for working so diligently for the APUG community.
     
  3. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I agree with Sirius... Thanks, Sean!
     
  4. StephenT

    StephenT Member

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    ditto