Beware Wanted Scammers on Forum

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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
In recent weeks the forum has attracted scammers. Be on the look out.

We were informed of the situation by one of the members who lost money to one of them and reported it. Subsequently, two more highly suspect accounts were highlighted, one was banned in the middle of a PM conversation with a member.

Usually, when we get spammers, who join to post links to everything from fake watches to US church groups, we delete the accounts and all posts, and report them as spam. In this case, we have merely banned the three accounts so that their posts can be used as an example.

The MO of these scammers is to build a post count in the forum to allow themselves access to the PM system, then reply to people who have posted Wants, using PM. They claim to have the item, may even post pictures, but the picture has just been copied from some other source. They like being paid with BACS or Paypal Friends and Family. No item is ever shipped, they make excuses to give themselves time to defraud another few members, then move on, either to a new ID on the same forum, or to another forum.

Examples:
bruno73
This character was reported after defrauding one member, and while we were looking into him, he was reported by another member for trying the same trick and is now banned. The same ID was used for scamming on several other forums, all with the same MO. Note that the stated location for the member was changed, forum to forum.

Following this discovery, advanced pattern recognition highlighted these accounts and they too were banned.
Joseph457
*I have just had a PM telling me that this account was used to defraud another member* :(

craig16wz

There are other accounts that are under observation, but have as yet made no posts.

We have been fortunate so far that as a forum we have been small and obscure enough not to attract this sort of criminal. This may gave fostered a false sense of security where we assume everyone on the forum is a friendly, trustworthy, part of our community.

If the first we hear or take action over is when a member actually gets scammed, that is a bit too late. If it quacks and waddles, it gets treated like a duck.


I would like to tell you how to spot scammers and spammers, but that would also be telling the scammers what to do to avoid detection. I can give some info though.

Photos of items. In the past, I have used https://tineye.com/ to search for images to see if they are used by other people on other sites. This is not effective against scammers copy/pasting photos to pass off as the kit they are offering. Maybe just the effect of the march of progress. I searched for a photo posted in 2019 that was used by Bruno73 and got no hits at all, whether I pasted the URL where it was hosted, or uploaded a screen grabbed image. A better technique is likely to be to do your own Google/Bing image search for the item and see if the photo you have been sent shows up. This technique showed up the picture Bruno73 used.

Payment: Forum rules say no Paypal Friends and Family. Assume no one honest will ask. If you want to pay BACS, you should know the person, or at least have a solid feel for their posting. More on this in a moment. If the name they give and the bank details do not match, big red flag. Report them!

Posting style and knowing people: This is the internet and people with hundreds or even thousands of posts in some places have up and done the darnedest things, however, genuine participation, especially over years of membership does tend to show and be a pretty good indicator for trust. In contrast, someone who has racked up a dozen or so posts that look like generic fluff, that required little effort on their part, and added nothing to the conversation, has provided little proof they can be trusted.

Be on you toes folks.
 

The Frightful

Full Member
Apr 21, 2020
320
57
Essex
:cursing:
, these gutless lazy scumbags are operating all over the net, hopefully they will all die a slow painfull and nasty death. Hard working people all over mugged for their hard earned by these bottom feeder scum
 

dnarcher

Full Member
Jul 21, 2016
51
12
Sheffield
It's a brave individual who decides to scam knife and firearms forums....it's always been so civilised (not to say heavily armed) around here
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
I have been told that now that the characters are banned, members cannot follow the links and view the posts they made. I had hoped to use those posts as an example of what to look for. Here are snap shots.

1623706654611.png
1623706681963.png



1623706807416.png
1623706830205.png


1623706881938.png
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
I have just been on a couple of US forums and this particular scam has been running for over a year. BCUSA had a warning go out in April and Hammock Forums has a permanent banner warning in their Wanted section and link to a description of the scam from April 2020.
 

ScottE

Nomad
Mar 22, 2017
497
352
Norfolk
This does re-enforce the argument for PayPal only exchanges so that money can be reclaimed on duff deals...
Duff deals aren’t scams though.
Disagreement is far removed from being fleeced....PayPal fleeces all
BT ought to be fine amongst long term members/posters.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,150
4,500
Mid Wales
Duff deals aren’t scams though.
Disagreement is far removed from being fleeced....PayPal fleeces all
BT ought to be fine amongst long term members/posters.

Sorry, I'm clearly missing something here! Explain to me how PayPal fleeces people please - I genuinely don't understand. They are a commercial company that charges a fee for providing a very secure and protected service. I have used them for years and have never felt 'fleeced' or had any issue with any transaction whatsoever. One could argue about the level of the fee perhaps but, like all pricing in a competitive market place, it wouldn't exist if it wasn't 'reasonable' for the service provided.
 

ScottE

Nomad
Mar 22, 2017
497
352
Norfolk
The level of fee, for handling other people’s hard earned money where most of the times that handling is smooth and faultless.
You don’t need to agree with me!
 

ScottE

Nomad
Mar 22, 2017
497
352
Norfolk
That protection also can and does get used against sellers where a buyer is out to scam or just doesn’t want something anymore or didn’t read a description etc
 

hughtrimble

Full Member
Jan 23, 2012
306
14
UK/France
The level of fee, for handling other people’s hard earned money where most of the times that handling is smooth and faultless.
You don’t need to agree with me!
You've covered the reason to have it though - for the remainder of those times aside than the 'most' where things are smooth and faultless.

That being said, I use BT with people I've known here long enough to be comfortable. The need for the PayPal 'insurance' is greatly diminished, to the extent that I don't feel I need it.

I totally understand BCUK's push for PayPal only. They're looking out for the lowest common denominator, and that'll be people who don't know each other.
 

ScottE

Nomad
Mar 22, 2017
497
352
Norfolk
Big companies handling everyone’s money and us losing the value of trade or barter is what’s going wrong on this planet right now....if bushcrafty countryside people are happy for their ability to build trust/barter/trade to be lost then crack on with PP.
 

hughtrimble

Full Member
Jan 23, 2012
306
14
UK/France
Big companies handling everyone’s money and us losing the value of trade or barter is what’s going wrong on this planet right now....if bushcrafty countryside people are happy for their ability to build trust/barter/trade to be lost then crack on with PP.
You can still do trades, and pay those you know with cash or BT if you so wish? There's no removal of that option.

(Say I as a bushcrafty city boy)
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,150
4,500
Mid Wales
Big companies handling everyone’s money and us losing the value of trade or barter is what’s going wrong on this planet right now....if bushcrafty countryside people are happy for their ability to build trust/barter/trade to be lost then crack on with PP.

You see, that's what I don't understand - it's a free country, you choose. Big companies employ lots of people and pay lots of wages; it makes the modern world go around. I ran my own companies for thirty years and I had to be innovative to compete with big competition - but we did and we succeeded. I have no qualms with big companies at all (subject to ethical practice).

As you say, we don't have to agree :)
 
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