We feel it's our duty and responsibility to inform you about possible fraudulent offers that may be submitted in response to your ads posted on Equine Hits. We decided to create this document that will guide you through understanding how scammers work, learning to recognize scam inquiries, and how to take appropriate actions.
We have outlined below the most common scammers' behaviour and a brief instruction about how to protect yourself. This document also explains Equine Hits country filter solution that allows you to track possible scam inquiries.
Please note that EquineHits.com is not involved in any sales process. We do not escrow funds, ship products, or receive products. If a seller claims that our site is involved in any transaction, their claims are false.
It is our strong suggestion that you do not wire money to people you do not know personally. It is always recommended that you pay using a credit card or PayPal when shopping online.
Rule 1 Be cautious about ANY deal from overseas.
Most of all scam cases relate to West African countries commonly Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Liberia. But some scams may also originate from European countries UK, Russia, Netherlands, Germany and other overseas countries.
An "Anxious" Buyer
Rule 2 An anxious buyer with an immediate check for a greater price is a serious red flag.
A "potential buyer" will get in touch with you regarding your horse (or any other item) for sale, and after very few questions about your item, will immediately offer you a greater price for that item with a bank check or cashier's check and a request to refund the extra money of their payment. They always have some reason for making the check out for too much, i.e. "in case the shipping costs extra," "a business associate owes me money in your country," "my secretary made a mistake and made the check out for too much," etc.
Counterfeit Bank Check or Cashier's Check
Rule 3 NEVER ship your item or refund a balance before the check is cleared.
If you provide the scammer with your contact information, you will receive a bank check or cashier's check from them in a few weeks. The check is counterfeit, but your bank won't find this out for up to 20 days! From here you get the last important rule never ship or refund anything unless you have cash in hand.
Recommendation: if you ever decide to take a risk on a deal from overseas, we would highly recommend using only Western Union or MoneyGram transfers, so you receive their payment in cash from your nearest service location. To learn more, visit the Western Union and MoneyGram websites.
Trailer Protection Scam
You may receive an email looking like it is from Equinehits.com advising of a Trailer Purchase Protection program. Please be advised that this is NOT a service provided by Equinehits. We are an advertising site ONLY. We do not play a part in any interaction/purchase/transaction with buyers and sellers.
If It Has Happened...
As you see, this kind of fraud is easy to recognize. If you believe you received a scam inquiry similar to what was described above, or worse, or if you've become a victim of this type of fraud, please report your case to:
- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (loss cases only)
- Internet Crime Complaint Center
- US Federal Trade Commission
- Canadian Royal Police Scam Department
The Equine Hits inquiry form does capture the sender's IP address, so don't forget to include this important piece in your complaint. The IP address can be used to determine the computer that was used to send the fraudulent inquiry.
For more information about scams, visit these websites:
- Fraud Tips From Fraud.org
- The 419 Coalition