User Safety Alerts


While the Internet can be a safe and convenient place to do business,
scammers are out there in "cyber world" targeting unsuspecting consumers.

To help you to recognize scams, we have provided below a list of indicators. They are only guidelines, and as always, should be tempered with common sense.

- Big Promises
Claims such as offering to buy or offering more money than the asking price without an initial conversation regarding the horse are almost always a sure sign of a scam. Be careful of any individual who wants to send you more than your asking price or is too eager to buy or sell SIGHT UNSEEN.
- Many Email Addresses
Scammers continually get new email addresses to replace ones that have been blocked. Take some time to research the person behind the email address. Look up the email on other sites such as Google, Facebook, and to see if they have a social media presence.
- Generic First Message
Scammers will send out multiple identical messages in an attempt to get a direct response. "I am interested, I will need a phone number and email to discuss further.". (They want to get into a direct conversation instead of using our messaging system.)
- Conflicting Information in the Ad
Read the ad carefully. If there is conflicting information such as calling a mare a gelding etc., there could be a problem.
- Cashiers Check for MORE than Your Asking Price
They will send you a (COUNTERFEIT) cashiers check or certified check "often spelled cheque" and ask you to send the difference to them or their shipper by wire transfer or Western Union.
- Request Money by Western Union or Wire Transfer
Beware of these attempts to quickly defraud you of your money.
- Bad English
Scammers often use bad or stilted English.
- High Pressure Tactics
Be wary of individuals asking you to speed up the transaction beyond your comfort range. Again, a legitimate deal probably isn't going to move as fast as your money. Don't let yourself be pressured -- think things through.
- Request for Direct Contact Information.
Scammers may try to quickly get your direct phone number and email address to avoid the controls in our messaging system.
- Requests for Financial Information.
Don't give out any bank information without fully researching the legitimacy of the buyer or seller. Don't hesitate to ask for references such as their local horse vet, etc.
- Always get Something in Writing.
You should never complete a transaction without first writing down the terms of the deal and have each party sign it. If you can't afford a lawyer to draft up a contract, you still should write down the terms of the deal in plain English and get it signed. Any buyer or seller that is hesitant or resists is usually a sure sign of a potential problem.
- Use Common Sense
Remember the old saying, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."

More Examples...

Fraudulent Text Messages

We have received reports of scammers sending text messages to sellers. "He made excuses not to be able to talk in person and always talked about the money, never any questions about the horse he wanted to purchase. Which is very odd considering everyone has questions and they want to see more pictures and video. Finally when we told him we only want cash upon delivery/pick up, there were no more responses, which was the proof we needed. We were questioning the legitimacy from the very first text..."

Customer Report Sep 2019: "My horse is listed on and I received a text from someone in Colorado. Kind of sounded legit, until someone from a different phone number messaged me with a lot of the same circumstantial lingo. Send me a cashiers check, and come pick up the horse after the money clears. So I told both of them that I’m not interested and knew it was a scam. Texas guy gave up, the Colorado guy called, left a message, told me his name, address and email. He had already sent me a check. So I am using all of this information to help you out. This check is not a cashiers check, but a personal check. And it is made out to me for way more than I’m asking. You want to know why? They have you cash it, then they ask for you to send them $2000 of it to pay for shipping, then they come and get your horse and after a few weeks or so, the bank realizes it was a fake check. You are out the money you sent them, plus a horse! Pass this along!"

Customer Report: "I received a text today from someone who said his name was David Walls and phone number 646/600-****. He asked we contact him. When I called the person that answered was obviously a middle eastern who had problems with English. He said he wanted to buy my horse for his wife. He asked be what was the last amount I would take for the horse. I told him the price and he said he wanted to buy the horse. He asked if I would take a check and I told him I deal in cash only. He then hung up. I was obvious that he was reading from a script and I could hear others telling him how to respond. This person is obviously trying to use your site to commit some type of fraud or crime."

Fraudulent Phone Calls

We have had a report that someone claiming to be the "Dream Master" is calling our users and phishing for information. This caller is NOT associated with our site.

We have heard that another horse classifieds site has had some problems with their customers being contacted by a fraudulent phone caller claiming to be from their billing department. The caller is telling customers that their order was not completed and requesting the credit card information again. This is a SCAM. This is a common attempt by scammers to get your information. Do not ever give your credit card information to someone who calls you.

Fake Ads

We are seeing an increase of fake ads being placed on all classifieds sites. Although we try to identify and remove any reported fake ads as soon as we discover them, we cannot promise to remove them or to remove them quickly enough for it to help you. Please be aware that YOU are ultimately responsible for your own user safety. (Please read our Terms of Use.) If you have knowledge of a fake ad, please report by clicking the "Flag Ad" button on the ad and sending the Horse ID or Tack ID to our help desk along with any knowledge you have of the situation. You can use the search engines such as to research a seller by name, location, phone number, etc. before even contacting them to see if they seem legitimate and check the seller's contact information for omissions and discrepancies, etc. When buying horses online, do your homework, insist on references, check identities, look up the horse/owner on your breed association site, have the horse checked by a vet of your choosing, and buy locally when possible. Remember, beware of any ad that sounds too good to be true.

Friesian Scam This is a horse scam that is currently circulating internet classified websites. The seller is offering a very expensive breed of horse well below market price. Other breeds often used are Gypsy Vanners, American Walking Ponies, various Warmblood breeds, and others. They specifically target more expensive breeds to make the buyer think they are getting a bargain. Common phrases used in their ads for these types of scams are: Loving horse for adoption, Friendly horse for rehoming, and frequent mentions in the description about the horse having had all of his shots and friendly for family use. When you see an ad of this nature, please click the Flag Ad button to help us remove it as quickly as possible.

Check/Wire Fraud Scams

A very serious matter has come to our attention and we feel it is our duty to inform our users regarding any type of large-scale fraudulent activity that may be taking place related to the horse industry. We strongly believe in educating everyone to create an environment that is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller.

People selling horses are receiving buyer inquiries from a third party regarding the purchase of a horse from a potential buyer in Nigeria, Africa, London, Hong Kong, AND OTHERS. This inquiry commonly attempts to arrange the purchase of the horse with a cashiers check covering the price of the horse and shipping. After the horse has been shipped, they commonly ask you to refund the shipping charges as part of a finders fee arrangement. They may also send you a check larger than the purchase price and ask for a refund of the difference.

Unfortunately, the CASHIER'S CHECK IS COUNTERFEIT. This fact is not uncovered until the horse and/or your own money (the difference in the check they send to their victims and the lower sales price of the horse) have been forwarded to the scam artists.

This scam may take various forms including purchasing frozen semen, tack, equipment, using WIRE TRANSFERS, even scammers posing as SELLERS on our sites, etc. but all of the emails we have seen have various similarities including misspellings, bad English, foreign countries, and making offers for a client or other third party.

We have heard about scammers who request payments through spoofed Amazon Payments and Google Wallet.

Unscrupulous Horse Traders

Aside from the check-fraud scams, there are fraudulent horse traders in this world who make their living making money from unsuspecting horse buyers who do not take the time to check all the facts before purchasing a horse. PLEASE do ALL your homework before buying any horse. Here is one site where you can check for unscrupulous dealers:

Fake Buyer Protection Programs

There are all kinds of scams in this world which apply to the horse industry just like any other industry. One of these is a FRAUDULENT BUYER PROTECTION SITES. We are NOT affiliated with any "eBay Purchase Protection Program involving Money Grams" or "TackTrader Buyer Protection Program" escrow service in any way. We have also seen an insurance deposit fund scam using a spoofed TackTrader return email address to make it look official. TackTrader does NOT have any kind of deposit insurance on payments and any messages received of this nature are completely fraudulent.

Reporting Fraud

Reporting to DreamHorse: If you have received a scammer message through a DreamHorse ad response, please submit a Fraud Report to DreamHorse which will provide an instant warning to others. The red Fraud Report button is at the bottom of every conversation. Before responding directly, you can take advantage of the knowledge of our community. If our community has reported someone as a scammer, the conversation will be marked as such. Setting your phone number to Private is a good way, especially for new users, to force messages through our message system and avoid scammer texts.

Internet Crime Complaint Center

For U.S. complaints use the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Complaint Form.

For Canadian Complaints contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Report to

Reporting to Scammer's Email Provider: We have noticed that most of these scams are coming from free web-based email accounts. You can usually report this scam to the email provider by send a copy of the scam email to abuse@[EMAIL-DOMAIN-NAME].com for the email address that is being used by the scammer and the provider may close the account. It may help to visit the website of the email provider by going to www.[EMAIL-DOMAIN-NAME].com where you can look up their abuse policies.