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Safety Tips To Avoid Scam and Fraud - Elzse.com

Safety Tips To Avoid Scam and Fraud:

Elzse.com is a great online market place. Unfortunately it doesn't provide any protection for the buyers or the sellers. As a result, the buyers are frequently cheated by the fraud sellers. Sometimes the sellers also get scammed by the dishonest buyers. 

For the most part, shopping online is totally safe; with online classifieds, most people want to do right by their neighbors and local communities. While sellers and buyers usually have nothing to fear, every so often we see or hear of new scams. At Elzse.com, we're taking a strong stance to fight scammers and we want to make you aware of the actions to allow you to better protect yourself. 

Overview:

While most individuals who use Elzse.com have success with buying, selling, renting or connecting with others, from time to time we do get reports of people attempting to scam or defraud our users. We have found that one of the best ways to address this problem is to ensure that all transactions take place locally. Remember that Elzse.com is a local classifieds web site and ads are inserted directly into our online publication. 

We are providing some tips below to help you use our classifieds safely. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please use common sense and caution when conducting any transaction and dealings.

Principles of Elzse.com Safety:

* Keep the transaction local: Please consider that local buyers and sellers are more likely to be reliable participants given your ability to inspect or require proof of ownership. Some non-local online inquiries may be scams.
* Use secure payment channels: Wiring funds to a distant buyer, via Western Union or any other carrier, may not be a wise choice given the distance and your ability to check up on the buyer.
* Be cautious in the use of escrow services: Be wary if the other party demands or requires the use an escrow service.
* Do not give anyone personal financial information: Do not give out personal financial information (checking account number, SSN, credit card information, eBay/PayPal info) to anyone.
* Use common sense: Trust your instincts, and always remember the most important rule -- buyer beware! And in the context of classifieds, sellers also need to beware as well!

Password Protection:

Stay safe online by protecting your account password. Whether you are on- or offline, take care of your password as you would care for your savings account passbook, passport or other important information. If your password falls into the wrong hands, your identity may be stolen and someone else may access your account.

You can take a few simple steps to help ensure that your password is protected:

* Make sure to create a different password for each online account you hold.
* Create a more secure password by using a combination of letters and numbers.
* Change your password frequently.
* Do not share your password with anyone.

Contacting the Seller:

Buy with confidence by using the 'Reply to this Ad' feature to get answers before you buy. Before you buy any item or service, it is important to have all of your questions about the item or service answered. All listings in our classifieds include a link to the "Reply to this Ad" feature. Using this feature is an easy way to make sure that all your questions are answered before you buy.

Postal Money Orders:

There are scammers using counterfeit checks, commercial money orders, and postal money orders to "pay" for items then leave sellers empty handed. Avoiding this scam is relatively simple:

* Never accept an overpayment for any item. One of the most common signs of a fraud about to occur is the request to accept an overpayment and provide "change".
* Familiarize yourself with the security features offered by various forms of payment. Postal Money Orders offer easy to recognize security features that counterfeiters have been unable to replicate.
* Make certain you understand your bank's funds availability policy before you release merchandise to the buyer. Never give or send merchandise to a buyer BEFORE the check clears the bank. While some checks take only a couple days to clear, others can take several weeks.

Foreign Cashier's Checks:

Some sellers of high priced goods receive requests from potential buyers in foreign countries (often in Africa) to accept foreign cashier's checks as payment for their items. Some of the requests offer to "overpay" for an item, and ask the seller to wire the overpayment back to the buyer through services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. We urge all sellers to use extreme caution when accepting foreign cashier's checks for high priced items, as such foreign checks may take weeks or months to clear and may be counterfeit.

Note: Some checks may appear to be from a US bank but, upon closer inspection, include foreign country or city names.

Furthermore, sellers should never accept overpayments from buyers for items where the buyer is asking to be reimbursed for overpayment.

You should take the following precautions:

* When buying or selling, you should meet in-person to see the product and exchange funds. This way you can avoid most the scams.
* Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers. This includes never mailing a cheque or using payment services like Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items or any other service before receiving the goods.
* Elzse.com does not offer any sort of buyer protection programs or secure payment systems. Any emails or web sites that talk about such systems are scams, even if they may have the Elzse.com logo. If you receive any emails promoting these services, please forward the message to us.
* Never provide your personal or banking information (e.g. social insurance number, credit card number) to others over the Internet. Never give out your password, even if asked to do so in an email supposedly sent by anyone.
* Make yourself aware of common scams and fraud. Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your help in any task.
* Inform Elzse.com of any attempted fraud or suspicious emails, ads, or other activity by community members.
* Search the internet with the name and phone number, email or address of the person or company with whom you are going to deal. And see whether any negative comments on the net are found against them.
* Be aware of fake cashier checks & money orders. Banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake will be discovered later on.
* Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and know that only a scammer will guarantee your transaction.
* If someone is offering to sell a commodity on Elzse.com at much lower price than it's actual market value then be careful with the deal.
* Communicate via email instead of instant messengers. In case of email communication you will have proof which you may show to police later on, if required. But must give a phone call to verify phone number.

Common scams and fraud:

* Overpayment: A buyer or seller will send you a cheque and then ask for money to be returned to them. Often the cheque will bounce and you will have lost all money you sent to the other party.
* Payment for brokerage/importing: A seller claims that there are brokerage fees, import duties, or other such fees required to get an item into Canada. Do not pay such fees, as you will most often never get the product and will have lost any money you paid. 
* Fake escrow sites: A buyer or seller suggests using an escrow service to complete the transaction. Often these escrow web sites are run by fraudsters (even though they may look "official") and they will take your money and never send you the product.
* Work from home: Many work from home offers are "pyramid schemes" which require you to recruit other members in order to get paid. For example, an ad may say that you can make $100 an hour by stuffing envelopes. But to make that money, you need to sell the system to others. More information.
* 419 Scams: You get an email saying that your help is needed to help take money out of a country and that you will be paid a commission for your help. Eventually they will ask you for money to help them take the large amount of money out of the country and once you pay you will never hear from them again. 

Avoid scams & fraud by dealing locally! Always view the item you are intending to purchase to ensure you are getting what you expect. Do not send any form of payment until you have seen the item and are satisfied it is a genuine offer.

Beware any deal involving Western Union, Moneygram, wire transfer, cashier check, money order, shipping, escrow, or any promise of transaction protection/certification/guarantee.

We are not responsible or liable for any fraudulent transactions by users of our classifieds, as indicated in our stated policies. By sharing these tips with you, however, we hope that we can help you avoid many of the traps used by scammers in fraudulent transactions so that your experience with our service will be a positive one. If you suspect that an item or ad posted on this website may be part of a scam, please email the details to us.