It is a good idea to be cautious when buying and
selling. Unfortunately there isn't a single foolproof way to
identify fraudulent sellers. However, we've listed some of the
warning sings of fraud below. Please note that none of these signs
is a definitive indicator of a fraudulent seller. They are only
factors to help you identify high-risk transactions. Likewise,
there is no guarantee that if a seller does not meet any of these
criteria, it's a legitimate seller.
- Get a Phone Number
If the buyer or seller refuses to give you a phone number, do not
do business with them. Period.
- Free Email Accounts:
Be suspicious of free email accounts such as yahoo.com, hotmail,
etc. since it is easy for anyone to open a free email account. If
the seller has an account with a free email service, have them
verify a phone number and address.
- Country of Origin:
Sellers that request money to be wired to Romania, Ukraine,
Macedonia, Belarus, Pakistan, Russia, Lithuania, Egypt, Nigeria,
Colombia, Malaysia or Indonesia tend to have a very high incidence
of fraud. Unless you have a lot of experience with international
orders, you may want to decline to send money to these countries.
- Frantic Claims to Close the Deal:
Beware of pressure for an immediate response or frantic claims that
the deal has to close "today."
- No Verifiable Information:
Be wary of sellers that do not provide information that can be
verified, such as an address or home or work phone number.
- Wiring Money:
We do not certify any seller. We warn you severely NOT to use
Western Union, E-Gold, etc to wire payment anywhere!
- Under pricing:
Be extremely suspicious of any item that is priced well below
similar items for sale. They use the lower prices to reel you in.
- Use your credit card, PayPal or BidPay
instead of any kind of check. This will give you protection if the
An order that meets one of the above criteria is not necessarily
fraudulent. However, if an order has multiple warning signs, you
should investigate it carefully. As a general rule:
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you feel there is a scam attempt, please report it to
HorseWeb has been notified of a few scams involving forged checks
(usually cashiers checks, and also known as the Nigerian Check
Scam). In the cases reported to us, the buyer agrees to purchase
the horse (or other item), offering more than the asking price. The
seller is then asked to send the difference to a
third party for the shipping of the horse. If you suspect that you
are being scammed, please notify the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, National Fraud Information Center or other
appropriate police/fraud agency.
Here are some excellent
information from fraud.org on Tips for Recognizing and
Avoiding Fake Check Scams