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Beware of scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH FACE TO FACE - By following this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on muamat.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service unless you are sure to whom you are sending payment - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • Double Check Seller e-mail Address and Phone Number If seller is representing a company, double check that he/she is not using any public email account like hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc e-mail accounts for communication and at least you have communicated with the seller at a valid phone number. For the delivery of pets, cell phones or other products, do not send money to other regional locations especially Nigeria, Cameroon unless you are sure to whom you are sending money.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • MUAMAT IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
  • NEVER EXPOSE YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS THAT INVOLVES SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.
  • AVOID DEALS THAT OFFER VERY LOW PRICE FOR SERVICE, PRODUCTS AS COMPARED TO ACTUAL PRICE Most of the scammers offer products or services at a very cheap rate as compared to market price to attract buyers. Beware of such deals if are demanding to occur through WESTERN UNION,MONEYGRAM or same type of money transfer service.

If you suspect that an item posted on muamat may be part of a scam, please email the details using our contact us form. Be sure to include the URL (or post ID number) in your message.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
  • inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before committing transaction

Examples of Scams

1. Someone claims that muamat will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that muamat will handle or provide protection for a payment.

  • These claims are fraudulent, as muamat does not have any role in any transaction.
  • Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from muamat, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, providing payment services -- all such emails are fakes!

2. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check

  • you receive an email offering to buy your item, or rent your apartment, sight unseen.
  • cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or for just about anything else of value.
  • value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
  • banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
  • scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

  • Scam "bait" items include pets, apartments, laptops, plasma TVs, cell phones, tickets - but could be almost anything
  • Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
  • Common countries currently include: Cameroon, Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere
  • Apartment listing may be local, but landlord/owner is "travelling" or "relocating" and needs you to wire money to them abroad
  • Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, rent is below market, etc

4. distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:

  • this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE
  • sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
  • scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
  • deal often seems too good to be true

5. distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service.

  • most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers
  • for more info, you can do a google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud"

6. distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods

  • he says he trusts you with the partial payment
  • he may say he has already shipped the goods
  • deal often sounds too good to be true

7. foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers, then wiring funds

  • foreign company may claim it is unable to receive payments from its customers directly
  • you are typically offered a percentage of payments received
  • this kind of "position" may be posted as a job, or offered to you via email

8. Free Pet Delivery at the cost of shipping price

  • The user offer you to take the pet free, but you have to send him shipping and insurance cost
  • You are requested to send the shipping and insurance cost for the pet through Western Union or any other mean
  • If you sent the money, the user demand more and never send you the pet.

 

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