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Scammers, identifying a scam

Scams are many things and none of those things are even remotely close to being good. I can’t tell you how many times someone has tried to pull their sheepskin tactics on me. One thing most common features I have noticed when someone is trying to scam me is their inability to be grammatically accurate.

If we look at what a major free site for posting jobs, services, products and more says about scams and avoiding scams we will find this:

Recognizing scams

Most scams attempts involve one or more of the following:

Email or text from someone that is not local to your area.
Vague initial inquiry, e.g. asking about "the item." Poor grammar/spelling.
Western Union, Money Gram, cashier check, money order, paypal, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee."
Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face to complete the transaction.
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.


You’ll more than likely think to yourself, this is a good deal, or this is too good to be true. You may even have that gut reaction and feel it’s a scammer trying to scam you. If you think it’s too good to be true or you have that gut feeling – it’s probably a scam.  I encourage you to report the suspicious activity to the internet fraud complaint center. http://www.ic3.gov/

Many of my experiences have offered to overpay using check or PayPal. Never have I spoke to the people over the phone and never has anyone been able to meet me in person. It doesn’t take much time to learn the person desires to scam you. Trust your gut and if you aren’t sure, stick to the knowledge of your community. Run it by your peers / parents before you accept money from an unknown source.

You wouldn’t think there is harm in accepting money, even if it is from a scammer. My next blog post will address the effects of taking money from fraudulent sources.

Timatech! Is an IT Service company specializing in Web development.

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