The Museum of HP Calculators
Warning! Beware of Scams!Scammers now target small venues including the HP Classifieds. Be careful of offers that sound "odd". Some clues that should make you suspicious:
Scammers also use various "social engineering" tricks. For example when someone asked a scammer a bunch of HP questions, that scammer sent me an email pretending
to be a young woman who desperately wanted answers to these questions in order to impress her boyfriend.
- Address in Nigeria - home of "Nigerian Fraud" also known as "419 Fraud".
Some scammers now use third parties nearer to you to avoid this obvious clue.
- Buyer doesn't seem to know much about your item. (May even refer to it as "your item" or "your product".)
- Buyer claims to be an agent, thus "explaining" the lack of knowledge.
- Buyer may offer to buy more copies than you have offered.
- Buyer offers an extremely high price or wants to pay a very high shipping fee or other money in addition to the price of the item, which you are to send to them or to a third party.
Also, it's usually very easy to get them to agree to even more than they offer.
The basic idea here is that the buyer provides you with a form of payment that looks authentic but eventually bounces such
as a fake cashier's check. You then provide them with a fraction of that amount in a legitimate form of payment.
(It can take 2 weeks for your bank to verify a cashier's check even though they put the money in your account immediately.)
A few days later you get a notice from your bank that the check is a forgery. The scammer disappears with your money and your item.
Sometimes, the scammer even creates a website for his fake bank.
- Buyer claims to be a government official or priest. (Or anyone who might sound extra trustworthy to you.)
- Your financial information is requested. Draining bank accounts is another favored Nigeria scam.
- The deal sounds too good.
- The deal seems unusually complicated or becomes more complicated over time.
- Strange terms such as "Advance Fee", "Transfer Tax", "Performance Bond" appear.
- Buyer uses a "freemail" address such as ...@yahoo.com. Not everyone who uses such an address is a scammer
but most scammers use these kind of addresses.
- You are sent a (fake) Paypal payment email that links to a fake Paypal look-alike site. Logging into this fake site will give the scammer your Paypal password.
- Off-topic posts. ie: advertisements of mobile phones, computers, lotteries etc. in the HP Calculator Ads
The Museum of HP Calculators does not vouch for any persons or companies and in no way guarantees successful transactions.
This is a free and open service for your convenience with no guarantees whatsoever.
- Consider using an escrow company,
however, clever scammers sometimes suggest a escrow company that is really just a web site that they created.
Use a real company like: www.escrow.com and don't be fooled by a site at a different URL which has simply copied the web pages from www.escrow.com.
- Use a search engine like google to search for generic portions of their pitch. Many scams are posted on websites.
- Contact them by phone. Most scammers prefer email because it gives them time to think up excuses/answers.
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