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Old 07-11-2016, 01:44 AM   #1
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How to Catch Scammers

To protect yourself, it's a good idea to do google reverse image search before purchasing. Thanks @VeganGirl for quick tips on how to.

Also if you see any fraud or scammer, please PM the mods with all the PM with them and we'll perma ban them.

Originally Posted by VeganGirl View Post
Hello guys,

Recently I had made a post in the member classifieds buy request section of the forum that I was searching for a used KraftWerks SC kit ready to pay 2500. Upon posting this I got a PM from 2 people stating that they had a KraftWerks kit ready to ship. I had replied to both pms with my phone number and asked for more information.

After receiving pics etc I quickly did a reverse image search and found that both people were attempting to scam me.

So I want to make this thread about these scammers and teach you guys 2 easy tips to find out if someone is trying to scam you or not. You may already know about these but if you don't then they can definitely be useful especially if you are going to make a purchase online.

Guy #1 Contacted me via pm:

All I did was save this image, go to google and find out that he took them from a diffent persons post and photoshopped his name into the paper.
The thread he stole the images from is here back in 2014:

Here is how you can do an easy reverse image search.
Go to then hover over the search bar and click the little camera. Then you can upload the picture. Scroll through and see if that picture has been used elsewhere.

After scrolling to the bottom I found this:

Now the second tip will come from another guy that tried to scam me. So This guy had PMed me that he was selling a super charger kit and I asked him to PM me more information to my phone. After doing a reverse image search I found found out that he was also a scammer and took the photos from a different thread as well.

After doing a reverse image search I was brought to this post:

Another tip:

Using facebook to check if someone is legit. So most people put there real phone number when signing up on facebook and you can actually just type their phone number in the address bar to find their profile. This could help verify if someones story is legit(e.g. seeing the parts on their car in previous pictures e.g.)

This is what it would look like when you type their phone number in the address bar. I used my boyfriends profile as an example.


Originally Posted by gcranston
Now that I'm out $200, I figure we could add a few points to the "how to catch a scammer" sticky:

-Don't rely on reverse image searches. Scammers are getting good enough to check against them. Do your own image search for keywords in your post and review the results yourself. Anything familiar?

-Images low resolution? Oddly cropped? Keep digging.

-Trying to conduct a sale outside the forums? Don't.

-If ANYTHING seems off, walk away.

This happened after posting in the WTB section. Let's play "count the red flags", shall we?
  • With about 36 hours of posting to WTB, I got a PM from someone letting me know what they knew someone selling the part I was looking for, and that I should email this person directly. (RF1) I would later learn that the forum account was 3 days old and had made no public posts. (RF2)
  • That person had the part at a reasonable (but not suspiciously good) price, including shipping
  • They asked where I was located (presumably to confirm shipping costs) I responded with city and zip, and requested a photo
  • They sent a tightly cropped, low resolution photo (RF3), and asked for my full mailing address (yellow flag?)
  • I ran the photo through two reverse image searches: no hits.
  • I agreed to the price,
  • The seller asked for payment by Zelle or cahsapp, which are instant, non reversible payments (RF4)
  • The contact email for Zelle was not the same as the email with which I was corresponding (RF5). Yes, I can hear you shouting at your monitors now...
  • I called him on this, asking for him to reply to my post on the forums and conduct the sale there.
  • He appeared very understanding of my hesitation, but instead sent me a photo of his drivers license (again no hit on reverse image searched). He did not mention the request to move the transaction to the forum (RF6)
  • I accepted this and initiated payment. Zelle cautioned that the account attached to the email wasn't the same as what I'd entered (RF7). Again, I called the seller on this discrepancy.
  • Seller responded it was his nephew's account and he would transfer once the payment was made. He did provide a name which matched who Zelle said owned the account. (yellow flag?)
  • Seller requested I send confirmation o fthe transfer(RF8). I've decide this is likely fishing for more personal information just to see what he could get. He said he would send a tracking number as soon as he had it.
  • That was all Friday, and by Monday the sinking feeling was real. Still no tracking number, I emailed seller and hear crickets (not the fuel pump kind).

What can I say? I wasn't paying attention. I wanted it to be true. I've been trying to find this part for a while, thought I had it but that seller disappeared so I posted on WTB. Then this fell in my lap. I figured I should have posted WTB earlier. I counted eight red flags (and two yellows) in that story. It's embarrassing. When did I really think I'd been had? When I got another PM with from another user with the same story, and an email response with another shady photo...

Keyword search on google images and actually looking at the results myself quickly found the source of both photos in 2017 forum posts, and finally I allowed myself to accept that I'd been thoroughly "had".

This felt kind of therapeutic to write. Let me know if I should post it somewhere or if you want to update the sticky with any of it.

So yeah, if ANYTHING seems off, WALK AWAY.

Last edited by ichitaka05; 09-15-2020 at 11:04 AM.
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