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.
From Our Knowledgebase:
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 legitamacy from the very first text..."
Another text example: "I received a text today from someone who said his name was David Walls and phone number 646/600-5437. 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.
We are seeing an increase of fake ads being placed on all classifieds sites. We are doing our best to identify and remove them. 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 Google.com 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.
We are doing our best to intercept, record, and report contacts of this nature here on DreamHorse.com while protecting your email address from public display. We hope you will read this warning because you may have horses for sale on other sites that do not take these measures.
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.
A new tactic is spoofed Google Wallet invoices: Read Google Warning
Lately, we have heard about scammers who request payments through Amazon Payments.
On DreamHorse, we are doing our best to block reported scammers and you can see the latest examples of scammer, spammer and abuser emails that our users have reported to us so you can learn to easily recognize a scammer.
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.
For U.S. complaints use the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Complaint Form.
For Canadian Complaints contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Report to RipoffReport.com.
Reporting to DreamHorse: If you have received a scammer-response through a DreamHorse ad response, please login to My DreamHorse Account. Click the button labeled Show Ad Responses for the appropriate horse. There is a button next to each recorded Ad Response to submit a fraud report to DreamHorse. This will record the email address and IP address used on your ad response in our database of scammers and will block them from sending future responses through our site. (This does not stop them from responding to you directly if you have already responded to them so that they already HAVE your email address.)
Before responding to buyers directly, you can take advantage of the knowledge of our community. Login to My DreamHorse and view your ad responses ONLINE. If our community has reported someone as a scammer, the saved ad response will be highlighted in bright yellow.
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.