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Horse Fraud Alert!!!
Posted August 2002

Dear Members of Horsetopia.com,

We want to urge you to be careful when selling your horse on any website, including ours. There have been many scams surfacing in the equine industry.

In general, the most important thing is that you not let yourself be pressured into a sale, and to be particularly cautious of anyone who claims to want to buy your horse for a third party. Here are a few other tips to help you avoid these scams, please read them carefully! Please contact us if you have any questions or if you suspect fraud so that we can warn other horse-owners.

New alert! (9/5/2006) We have had reports that scammers are also contacting sellers by telephone. In one case, a seller reported that the scammer used a "relay call" for the hearing impaired in order to start a dialog.

  1. Beware of buyers from foreign countries--particularly Africa. While there are probably many people legitimately looking for horses for sale who live in Africa, many scams originate there.
  2. Beware of buyers who mention that a third party (who might owe them money) will pay for the horse.
  3. Beware of buyers who try to send you a payment for more than the value of the horse and instruct you to send the balance somewhere.
  4. Be aware that cashiers checks can be counterfeit. If you are suspicious, be sure to have the check examined by the bank and give it ample time to clear (this is especially important because sometimes checks will appear to clear and later are found to be counterfeit)
  5. Beware of buyers who try to rush you. Allow yourself ample time to make the decision.
  6. Beware of buyers who ask you for your own financial information. Never give your account number to a potential buyer.
  7. As with any sale, you should write a clear contract and be sure to have all parties involved sign it.
  8. Lastly, if you believe your terms are reasonable and the buyer will not accept those terms, there might be a good reason!
  9. We do not recommend buying a horse without seeing it, trying it out, and convincing yourself that it's what you want.

To report fraud:
In the US contact, submit a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is run by the FBI. Their website is http://www.ic3.gov
In Canada, contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Regards,
The Horsetopia.com Team




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