Exploring all the Internet has to offer can be great fun and very profitable, but it pays to have some "street smarts".  We encourage visitors to report and suggest ways to avoid Internet scams, share their own experiences with scammers, and provide links to other helpful sites on this topic.

     

The following information is provided as a public service. While certain local, state and federal statutes or other laws may be discussed, the laws of each state and often each municipality vary and each may have its own procedures and time limitations which must be followed. BAEN shall not be liable for any information provided herein. Please read our full Legal Disclaimer.

 
     

    

BAEN posts email addresses and phone numbers of suspected scammers recently reported by BAEN users. Click here to view.

If you receive a suspected scam/spam message, forward the entire message to info@bayequest.com along with you comments. We'll add the sender to BAEN's mail filter. You can then delete the original scam message without responding, just like you would any other unwanted email message.

IMPORTANT Warning! DO NOT report BAENmail messages to your ISP as spam - The BAENmail message is coming from BAEN's server, NOT directly from the scammer. Reporting BAENmail to your ISP as spam results in BAEN's own IP address being blocked, which means you and other users will be unable to receive email responses to your ads.


 

"Cashier's Check" or "African Buyer" or "Overseas" Scam

This is an old scam making the rounds on the Internet with a slightly different angle. It first gained national attention in January of 2003 (do a Google search for "cashier's check scam" and you'll get hundreds of results). These scammers are all over the Internet targeting anyone selling high-priced items such as cars, boats, airplanes, and yes, even horses and horse equipment. Their goal is to find a trusting seller to whom they can pass a counterfeit cashier's check. The scammer entices the seller with a cashier's check made out for more than the purchase price and a request for the seller to refund the difference. 

The scammer usually starts by sending an email inquiry about the horse or item for sale but doesn't ask the type of questions you would expect from a legitimate buyer (although this is not always the case). If the seller responds, the scammer eventually brings up the subject of a cashiers check that his agent/client/friend/relative/etc. will send or deliver. Sellers may may receive multiple nearly identical messages from different email addresses; the same nearly identical message may also go out to hundreds of different sellers. Frequently the scammer has poor English language skills. In some cases where contact is made via telephone, the scammer pretends to be deaf and uses an interpretive service.

Using the BAENmail links in our classifieds, it's possible for scammers to send you email messages but the scammer cannot see your email address or save it to a mailing list. Web site security is not the issue - these scammers are not hacking computer systems, they are manually browsing public web sites just like other legitimate visitors and clicking on email links. Other horse commerce sites like Dreamhorse, etc. are also targeted (probably because of the preponderance of high-ticket items for sale - scammers go where the money is).  The only foolproof way to avoid receiving email scams or spam is to not post your email address on the Internet.

Some Commonsense Advice

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even though you've posted a for-sale ad, you are under NO obligation to sell to anyone, no matter who they are or how much they offer. You are NO obligation to respond to an email or phone offer that makes you uncomfortable in any way. It's YOUR item for sale on YOUR terms, and anyone who is put off by your legitimate efforts to protect yourself and your property can take a hike. Treat suspicious emails like spam and delete upon receipt without replying.

Your best protection is to insist upon cash paid in person. Do NOT accept cashier's checks. Do not ship your horse or item until you've been paid in full and the money is deposited to your account. If you feel you must accept a check, insist that the issuing bank clear the check before the horse or item leaves your control (this can take 7-14 days, which is why the scammers pressure you to ship NOW). Don't allow ANYONE to pressure you into a sale. Reduce your exposure to scams by dealing locally as much as possible. Learn more ways to protect yourself at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/tech/online.shtm and http://www.creditreport.org/additional-resources/ftc-consumer-resource-guide/ .

BAEN and its parent company Extend, Inc. can't assume the role of investigator or enforcer in complaint or scam cases. Unlike some other classified ad websites, we don't take commissions on transactions and don't serve as intermediary between buyer and seller, nor do we provide buyer protection or seller certification.   If you receive a suspected scam message, please forward it to info@bayequest.com then report it to the sender's email service provider.

If you're a Scam Victim...

If you believe you are the victim of a scam,  report it to your local police immediately. 

Please see additional resources at Scam Victims United

To file complaints in the US use the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Complaint Form or forward suspected scam email to uce@ftc.gov. For Canadian Complaints contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. For more information on this scam, please view Google search results

Additional links for reporting scams, contributed by BAEN users

Sample Cashier's Check Scam Messages and Email address

We've posted scammers' email addresses/phone numbers and a selection of Cashier's Check scam messages contributed by our users. If you received a scam message that is substantially different from these examples, please forward to us and we'll share it here.