Avoiding Scams

Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.

* Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
* Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.
* Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
* Don’t accept cashier/certified checks or money orders – banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
* Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”.
* Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).
* Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.
* Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

United States

* Internet Fraud Complaint Center
* FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC
* FTC complaint form and hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
* Consumer Sentinel/Military (for armed service members and families)
* SIIA Software and Content Piracy reporting
* Ohio Attorney General Consumer Complaints
* New York Attorney General, Avoid Online Investment Fraud