Regardless of our continued efforts, we still occasionally get reports (~5 per year) of fraudulent users on the site. These are mainly all trade deals gone bad. REMEMBER, YOU SHOULD ONLY TRADE LOCALLY. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND MAILING TRADES! If you choose to do so, do so at your risk! Also NEVER SEND MONEY VIA THE PAYPAL ‘FRIENDS AND FAMILY’ OPTION. If you do so you lose any payment protection. If a seller asks you to do this they are most likely a scammer!
This is the case not just here on TheVapeTrader, but on any classified advertising site or marketplace (that involves mailing items). As such, we wanted to provide 5 easy (and common sense) tips to help protect yourself from becoming a victim, here and elsewhere on the web:
#1. NEVER send payment via the ‘friends and family’ option with PayPal. PayPal does not offer buyer protection when sending money this way. Instead always use the ‘Goods and Services’ option to keep yourself protected should the transaction go awry. If the seller is trying to convince you to use the ‘friends and family’ option to save on PayPal fees, decline and consider offering a little extra money to help the seller cover the Paypal the fees instead.
#2. We DO NOT recommend trading with anyone that you can’t meet up with in person. You may want to trade for certain mod very badly but this is the most common and easiest way to get ripped off. In the past we have had reports of users sending out their trades and receiving broken mods. We have even had one report of a empty box being sent on a trade deal. Be patient and try to only trade in person or with someone you have reason to trust. You can use are Ad Map to find items near you or you can search by State from the ‘Refine Results’ tool on specific category pages.
#3. We DO NOT recommend listing your phone number on your ad listing. To help us track dishonest users on the site, it helps if you use our messaging system – so there is a documented conversation of the transaction and so we can identify their IP address, ban them, and seek legal action if necessary.
#4. CONFIRM AUTHENTICITY. If you are unsure if the item listed is authentic or not, ask the buyer to prove authenticity by sending you a pic of their original order receipt or certificate of authenticity. If they can not provide these, proceed at your own risk. This is not fool proof but it usually helps.
#5. CONFIRM IDENTITY of the seller before sending any sort of payment. We require Ad posters to post a Social Media profile link to help you do this. It is always wise to try to confirm that the seller is who they say they are before buying from them. This is not a fool proof protection measure either, but oftentimes a Social Media account can help you do this. Some posters may have accidentally provided an invalid Social profile link (or claim not to have one) and that might be why you landed on this page – to remind you to take extra precaution. Another option, is to ask for a picture of their Drivers License. If you they ask why you can just say to confirm legal purchase/selling/trading age, which you should be doing anyways.
What do we do to keep this community safe?
We work hard to keep this trading community positive and healthy and we try our best to keep any fraudulent and dishonest at behavior at bay, but sometimes there are factors that are out out of our control. However, to stay proactive and help reduce this type of activity as much as possible, we we have taken several measures. We now offer a seller review system that allows users to rate/review sellers or traders they have had transactions with. Additionally, users can now also ‘Report’ ads (scroll to the bottom of an ad listing page and click on the ‘report’ link). Similar to Craigslist if an Ad is flagged a certain amount of times (by different users) it is removed from the site. Other measures include blocking visitors from specific countries where a large majority of Internet Scams originate from (i.e.: Nigeria) and enabling a GEO IP matching protocol (where if a posters IP address does not match the posting location from their ad, our system will not publish it).
These added fraud prevention measures have helped quite a bit in keeping buyers honest and protecting sellers. In fact, in the last year we have only had 3 cases of fraud reported, 2 of which were resolved. Even so, please keep the 5 tips above in mind and you should be able to keep yourself from getting into a bad situation!
-The Vape Trader support team