Porch Pirates And Other RipOff Reports
Porch Pirates And Other Rip-Off Reports –
Are you setting yourself up for a ripoff? Are there more than ten adults in your family? Do you work in a location employing ten or more people? If you answer yes to either of those questions, statistically, you know somebody who has been scammed or otherwise ripped off. According to recent surveys, one in ten people will get scammed or ripped off every year.
These are not some poorly written emails by some prince in Nigeria, or the Secretary of Defense or other prominent government official who have suddenly found themselves in need of Joe Schmoe to move tens of millions of dollars. These are everything from Identity Theft to bogus buyers and sellers online.
Sites like the Facebook Marketplace (or is that Meta Marketplace now?) and Craigslist have substantially more thieves and scammers merely because they are larger sites and have more visitors. Anywhere that people and money come together, scammers will not be far behind.
In case that is not bad enough, a quick trip to YouTube will reveal a host of Porch Pirates, including UPS or FedEx or Amazon delivery drivers putting the package down, taking a picture of it at your house, and then walking back to their vehicle with your package safely in hand. Mind you, it is safely in their hands and will likely remain that way, but whose fault is this ripoff?
The short explanation is that people get ripped off buying and selling things online. This is true whether you are on Adpost or as noted, even on Craigslist or Alibaba or Carousell. The website you use does not matter so much as the steps you take to prevent becoming a victim buying and selling things online.
The first step is for you to report any and all suspect ads that you come across no matter which website you are using for buying and selling.
What Are The Most Common Problems Buying And Selling Online
At the risk of being blunt, and perhaps even offending you, the biggest problem among buyers and sellers online are often the buyers and sellers themselves when it comes to ripoffs. Buyers who have been ripped off, frequently make no mention of how they were ripped off on the site they used.
This makes it extremely difficult for the website owners to know there is a scammer in their midst. Even if an advertisement is merely suspect, it should be reported so that there is a record of concern for that particular user and less chance for a successful ripoff.
If there is even one report about a user that is potentially ripping off buyers, there is at the very least an official record of that communication somewhere. To expect the website owners from the Web 3 marketplace sites or more traditional Web 2 classified sites to review every advertisement, is akin to expecting the police to stop and frisk every person they meet.
Some things are not realistically possible, even if they would be potentially beneficial. Sites like Craigslist have about 250 million visitors per month – actually Craigslist has about 250 million visitors per month. Ebay has about three times as many visitors, and Walmart has about 100 million more.
Amazon has literally billions of visitors per month, and is so large, their search engine gets as many, and sometimes more searches than the YouTube search feature. With that many people going in and out every day, every week, and every month, it is imperative that the users let the website owners know when they think there is a ripoff in the making.
While there are many challenges buying and selling things online, this is definitely one of the most common. In most cases, one click of the mouse is enough to get the complaint started.
How Can You Make Sure You Are Paying For What You Get
When purchasing items on sites like Amazon, the gift cards may be ideal for buyers, but at the same time, this can be a red flag and indicate a scam or ripoff is in the making. If a seller on sites like Craigslist want you to pay with a gift card, this will, in most cases at least, be a great big red flag and might be a ripoff.
That being said, the gift cards may in some cases, be cheaper than the transfer fees from banks or other payment processors online. Someone will have to dare to “go first” in this scenario, whether it is sending the payment before the product is shipped, or shipping the product before the payment is sent.
One of the other things that can be done is to arrange for a video call with the buyer. No, this is not mandatory, but neither is it a bad idea. This is especially true if you are purchasing something where details will matter. Is that MacBook Air really a functional MacBook Air?
Is that classic car really in as good a shape as claimed? Can they run a magnet up and down the body without having it fall off? A classic car made in the days of yore is likely made out of steel and other metals. If the magnet does not stick, that may indicate an excessive use of Bondo or even aftermarket fiberglass body kits that detract from the value.
How do you know if those other gadgets and electronic devices are fully functional if you cannot see them? There are plenty of free video conferencing apps for both cell phones and computers. If a seller will not demonstrate that the product is as advertised, that may be a red flag to consider.
How Can You Defeat Porch Pirates
As was previously noted, YouTube is full of videos showing delivery drivers delivering and walking away with the very same packages after duly taking a photograph purporting to show it delivered, or dumping packages they were unable or unwilling to deliver. As if that were not bad enough, there are equally obnoxious people who literally follow the delivery trucks so that they can pick and choose from whatever the driver does ripoff from the internet consumers.
Then of course you have the random passers by who just cannot help helping themselves to your next order. While it may not present the same health hazards as the Uber Eats driver diving finger first into your food, porch pirates can cause a good deal of emotional indigestion, generally expressing itself as anger and frustration each time a ripoff is successful.
The question that really has to be asked is; is it more important not to be inconvenienced, or to ensure that you actually receive what you have paid for to be delivered into your hands? It would be great to be able to trust all of the delivery drivers for all of the companies and all of the contractors working through the holiday seasons, but would it be wise?
Did you know that you can have items delivered and require a signature when it is placed into the hands of the intended recipient in order to reduce the chances of a ripoff occurring? This is true whether you are using the post office, Fed Ex, UPS, or any of the other delivery companies.
In the event a signature cannot be obtained, the item will be returned to the warehouse with only a notification of attempted delivery left at the address. If that does not suit you, perhaps you have a neighbor who is retired and generally home? Perhaps a work address is available where there is generally someone who could sign for a package during the standard delivery hours?
How Can You Prevent A RipOff By Scam Buyers
Delivery drivers stealing packages, people following delivery drivers to steal them, and random porch pirates all make it difficult to argue that a customer received their package when they claim they did not. Add in to that mix those customers who will receive a package with no signature required and still swear up and down they never got it, and it can get ugly. Signatures are easy.
If you are selling things online and want to make sure you are not getting ripped off, never send the package before the payment has been made. Always make sure that the delivery is one that requires a signature of the recipient. Even then, there are additional considerations that may arise, and other scenarios to be wary of when you are receiving payment.
Some “buyers” will claim they have a cashier’s check or other source of payment they have to burn off, but is a few dollars more than the cost of the item. All you have to do is deposit the check into your bank account and wire them the change or cash back.
In most of these cases, the check is fake, and if you somehow do manage to get it deposited via the ATM or any other method, not only will you be out the money for the items sold online, but for the entire amount of the check in addition to your original loss.
Checks and money orders are generally a bad idea when selling things online. You can use other services like Western Union, or online processors like Paypal as well. Perhaps the best option is to find a Web 3 Marketplace that has their own escrow service, and to limit the transaction to those who are personally involved and those who have a vested interest in your online buying and selling experience to be both safe and successful.