Fraudalert

There are some dodgy sellers (and buyers) out there trying to rip you off, so be aware of.

What should I do if I am harassed because of someone posting a fake or prank ad?
Please contact us immediately and ask to have the posting removed. Please include the ad’s title, category, and email address (if available). We take cases of abuse and harassment seriously.

What should I do if I suspect a fraudulent seller/buyer? 
Please contact us and the relevant authorities immediately. Please quote the ad’s title, category, and email address (if available). We take cases of fraud seriously and will try to and help as much as we can. In worse case we can will ban the fraudster from using our website. 

How to Detect Fake Ads
Bewary if you come across any of the following:

• A price which looks TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
• The advertiser lives ABROAD
• The ad is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
• Non-existent TELEPHONE numbers 
• The Town/City does not correspond with the State 
• OVERSEAS TELEPHONE NUMBER/EMAIL in the description field

How to Avoid Scams

Buyers
• MEET AND TRANSACT IN PERSON – you will avoid most scams this way.
• NEVER wire money via Western Union, Moneygram etc. – only scammers use these. Use a form of payment that provides protection e.g. Credit cards and online payment services.
• DO NOT trust intermediaries - they are probably not who they say they are.
• DO NOT pay any deposit or upfront fee – the scammer will keep this and disappear and you won’t receive your goods
• DO NOT give out financial information – account number, social security number etc.
• DO NOT trust people who repeatedly don’t answer phone calls.
• Meramaal.com IS NEVER INVOLVED IN A TRANSACTION. We do not handle payments, or provide seller certification, etc.

Sellers
• MEET AND TRANSACT IN PERSON – you will avoid most scams this way.
• NEVER allow payments by wire via Western Union, Moneygram etc. – only scammers use these. Only accept a form of payment that provides protection e.g. Credit cards and online payment services.
• DO NOT accept payments by international cheques or credit cards.
• BEWARE of fake cheques. Banks will cash these and HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the cheque fails to clear.
• DO NOT trust intermediaries - they are probably not who they say they are.
• DO NOT give out financial information – account number, social security number etc.
• DO NOT trust buyers who make offers which vastly exceed the sale price.
• DO NOT trust people who repeatedly don’t answer phone calls.
• Meramaal.com IS NEVER INVOLVED IN A TRANSACTION. We do not handle payments, or provide “buyer protection”, etc.

Example Scams

Fake Cheque
• You receive an email offering to buy your item/ rent your flat etc. 
• A cheque is offered for your sale item/as a deposit for the apartment, etc. 
• The value of the cheque far exceeds that of your item.
• Scammer offers to "trust" you and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service. 
• Banks will often cash these fake cheques AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHEQUE FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases! 
• The scam usually involves a 3rd party ( e.g. shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc). 

Partial payment 
• Seller says he “trusts” you with a partial payment. 
• He may claim he has already shipped the goods.
• Deal often appears too good to be true. 

Overseas Buyer
• Buyer sends you an email in English similar to the following: 

I MR.LEE from ENGLAND. I want to buy your items for my friends son who has just relocated in west africa (Nigeria) and the item is needed very urgently because he has told me to buy the item for him and i dont want to disappoint him ,and dont want him to loose the competition and i have already promised him that i am going to buy it for him and send it to him in NIGERIA. So kindly tell me the price that you are expecting to sell the items. Moreso, make enquiries for the cost of shipping to NIGERIA via UPS or REGISTERED POST Service so that i can know what to do next to make the transaction fast and secured. Kindly get back to me as soon as possible. PAYMENTS: BANK TRANSFER or MONEYGRAM


• English is usually poorly written with many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. 
• Other countries typically used include UK, Ukraine and Spain but it could be almost any.
 

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