Thieves… And PayPal…
I’m pissed. I actually had a pretty good post ready to go today, but I’m not publishing it because there are bigger fish to fry this morning. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a number of HAMBers get screwed in the classifieds… and that’s something I take pretty personally. Hell, I’ve lost buddies in the past because they’ve failed to meet their obligations in the market. It’s just something I feel a responsibility for and, as such, I take it pretty damned seriously.
This time though it’s not a buddy. It’s not even a HAMBer. It’s a scam and it goes something like this:
A HAMBer is contacted by email (and sometimes by PM) by a user with zero posts and a recent registration date. This user claims he has a part that the HAMBer dearly needs or knows a buddy that does. “Shoot my pal an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sure he can sell you what you are looking for.”
The HAMBer then excitedly sends over an email or returns a PM or whatever… and is met by someone claiming to have the part and a willingness to sell at a really decent price. “I only take check or money order though,” he claims. “I don’t trust PayPal or money over the internet of any kind.”
Stop right there. Look fellas… I know a lot of you guys are old school and not super computer literate. I get that. I get that something like PayPal can seem scary and untrustworthy. I get that for some of you, accepting checks and money orders is easier than signing up for a PayPal account and dealing with electronic transfers and such. I get all of that. BUT, the time has come to get over it. The time has come to understand that the only safe way to conduct a personal transaction on the internet is through PayPal. And the time has come to accept the fact that blindly sending a stranger a check or money order through the mail is probably the most risky financial endeavor you could ever take on. Seriously fellas… It’s time get smart about this stuff.
So, what does PayPal offer in the way of security? Easy… If there’s a problem with a transaction, they put a hold on the funds and investigate every step of the process. If after that investigation they find evidence of fraud, they reverse the payment and you are off the hook. It’s a security blanket of sorts… and while I’m sure there are instances where PayPal screwed up and someone lost money, those instances are few and far between when compared to the number of folks that have lost money through USPS and checks.
In any case and given the number of fraud cases we’ve had recently, I wanted to reiterate all of this. These same guidelines have been posted in our classifieds section for years. It’s a pretty basic rule of thumb to live by – If someone you don’t know asks for a check, ignore them… and report them to the HAMB. We will ban their account.
Thanks fellas… and sorry for the shitty content today. This is something I really want to put a dent in. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can set one up here.