Safety Guideline

Tips for everyone- “Do it in person and do it in public.”

You should be safe if you follow this rule. However, a fraudster may have a convincing scam up their sleeve, which is why you should also take these extra safeguards. People who make up excuses for why they can’t meet in person and force you to make a decision quickly should be avoided, especially if shipping to a foreign nation is involved.

For Buyers
Don’t send money to someone you haven’t met in person

  • through Western Union or MoneyGram
  • through wire transfer
  • through PayPal unless they are a verified PayPal member or they have a positive online reputation (note: contrary to popular belief, PayPal will not reimburse you if you don’t receive your item unless you were buying an eligible item directly on eBay — so don’t assume that a PayPal payment makes everything safe)
  • to foreign countries

Don’t fall for fake protection programs.

  • There is no service provided by, PayPal, or Facebook, that “holds the payment until the item was shipped”. There are escrow services out there, but scammers sometimes pretend to be one, so you should research an escrow service and its reputation before using one.
  • does not provide a “Bill of Sale” or any other transaction assistance.

For Sellers

  • Beware of checks. It takes a few weeks for your bank to notify you that you deposited a fake check. It’s best to go to the bank with the buyer and get a cashier’s check issued in person.
  • Never accept extra payment with complicated excuses.
  • Never send a portion of the money back to the buyer, a shipping agent, or any other person.

Job Seekers

  • Don’t accept checks sent to you for purposes other than salary.
  • Don’t trust any scheme where you have to send money to someone, or buy goods from some specific place.

Never send or accept any payment before seeing the place and meeting the landlord.