Fraud and Scam


Fraud and Scam

Top tips to help you avoid being the victim of a scam:


This page is to assist you in avoiding and being the victim of a scam. This page is not an exhaustive list of scams used but this page will give you an outline of the known scams used so as to make you more aware.   


Here are some top tips to make you more aware from online classified scams:


1.      Always be cautious and take care to check details — if the advertised price of a good, service or rental property looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

2.      Always ask for proof of purchase and/or service records when buying an item online. This not only reduces the chances that the item was stolen, but will help you to better understand or research the quality of the product you are purchasing, as well as information to related to warranties.

3.      Do not trust the legitimacy of an ad just because it appears in a reputable newspaper or classifieds website—scammers post fake ads in these too.

4.      Where ever possible, avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer or international funds transfer. It is rare to recover money sent this way. 

5.      When paying for a product always pay by credit card and use a secure online payment system such as PayPal (etc.). Both the credit card company and the secure online payment system should have security features in place to protect you should your purchase not be delivered.

6.      Undertake an internet search using the exact wording in the ad—many well-known scams can be found this way.

7.      Request and obtain a number of photos of the item from the seller, if they refuse it may be that they have stolen a photo from a genuine ad and have no other photos.

8.      Remember always that when looking to buy a pet, it is impossible to import an animal from overseas in a few weeks as quarantine procedures need to be followed.

9.      Avoid being the victim of an overpayment schemes (more details below). If you find yourself part of one contact your local police.

10.    If you must accept payment from a stranger via money order or cheque be sure to hold the money in your account for an acceptable amount of time before spending it, so that the banks can clear the money order or cheque.

11.    For rental properties, insist on inspecting the property - a drive-by is not enough. The property may genuinely exist, but it might be owned by someone else. 

12.    If you are looking for an overseas rental, carry out a web search on the property or speak with a real estate agent in the area to ensure it is genuine

13.    Always check the specifics of who an email is “from” before opening it or clicking on any links. Check the “from” email address against other normal e-mail correspondence you may have received from the company/organisation.

14.    If you receive an email requesting that you update or enter your account information do NOT click on the link. Instead go directly to the website yourself, typing in the address or using your bookmark, rather than following a link from another source. Phishing e-mails are used to extract your credentials (e-mail address and password and other information) to commit fraud using your details. 

15.    Always try and avoid being be lured away from secure sites. Always check the URL to ensure it is legitimate before entering personal information in a website.


Here is a list of some warning signs for you to note:


1.      Anyone selling stolen items is often looking to sell it “quickly”.

2.      Be wary of people selling multiples of similar items. Question why they have multiple items.

3.      Look out for suspicious back-stories about an item’s history or reason for being sold. 

4.      Be wary of buyers and sellers (or any stranger) that is in an urgent, complicated, or emotional need of   

         payment via a money wiring service. Once wired money has been received on the other end it is


5.      Keep in mind that almost all over-payments are part of a scam. Overpayment scams typically require money

         to be wired or the product to be paid for by money order or cheque as described in this document.

6.      Phishing emails often have spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in them and so look out for these.

7.      Be wary of unsolicited contact via e-mail from companies, organisations, banks, money transfer service

         providers etc. asking you to update or enter your account information.


This is not an exhaustive list and scam artist may be using other methods and means not listed on this document. This page is just to give you a summary of some of the scams that are known to be used. Here are some of the types of scams used (not an exhaustive list):


1)      Overpayment Scams:


This is used by scam artist where the buyer will overpay (usually with a fake money order or cheque) for a product and request that you send back a refund for the difference in price. The scammer will request that the refund be sent to a third party. Once you have cashed the fake money order or cheque you are responsible for the funds. Victims often report having just mailed out the product and refunded the overpayment amount to the scammer upon being notified by the bank that the money order or cheque was a fake. Victims are then out both the product and the money. Please take care not to be the victim of this type of scam.


2)      Stolen Property/items:


Some scammers have been known to steal property and sell it online in hopes of making some quick cash. This may be stolen electronic goods, bicycles, jewellery, mobile phones and other household goods are often sold this way. If the police or authorities discover that have purchased a stolen product you will likely have to return it to its rightful owner and in many circumstances you will not be reimbursed for your purchase.


3)      Money Wiring:


Both buyers and sellers may be victims of frauds via money wiring requests. Scam artists using wire serve payments (i.e. Western Union or MoneyGram) often require payment be made this way because they are out of the country, require some fake confirmation code, or don’t have access to a bank. Please take care before making payment to verify the details and make sure that you are certain of the details before making payment.


4)      Phishing Scams:


Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as user-names, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This is a very common scam that takes a number of forms. In this scam victims receive emails that appear to come from an official site administrator (i.e.  PayPal or other payment providers.) These emails will at all appearances look official and typically require you to click on a link to sign into your account or update your account information (often and ironically claiming to be for security purposes). One you click on the link and enter your information you have just given the scammer access to your personal and account information from which they can now operate. Often in the cases of eBay the scammer will then “purchase” products using your financial information, but have the items shipped directly to themselves. 

5)            Internet ticket fraud

A variation of Internet marketing fraud offers tickets to sought-after events such as concerts, shows, and sports events. The tickets are fake, or are never delivered. The proliferation of online ticket agencies, and the existence of experienced and dishonest ticket resellers, has fueled this kind of fraud. Many such scams are run by British ticket touts, though they may base their operations in other countries

6)            Re-Shipping


Re-shipping scams trick individuals or small businesses into re-shipping goods to countries with weak legal systems. The goods are generally paid for with stolen or fake credit cards.


Always use your common sense when using Globe Alpha services.


Report a Scam:


If you think you’ve spotted a scam, report a scam to Globe Alpha immediately. Send us your report here immediately Contact Globe Alpha (Report Scam) and provide as much details of the issue as possible so that we can properly investigate.


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Updated 1st June 2014