Information on buying & selling safely on the
internet, courtesy of
SELLERS BEWARE: There is a
new kind of internet fraud in practice. It has become common on
horse classified ad sites in general and we wanted to make our users
aware of it:
A potential buyer, may claim to be
in Africa, contacts you to buy a horse, saddle, or tack. They then
say a friend in the US owes them money and can this friend send you
a cashier's check. Often the cashier's check will be over the
price of your horse/saddle/tack. The buyer then asks you to wire
transfer him the remaining funds in Africa. Another friend who is a
"reliable shipper" will come and pick up the goods/horses. The
problem is the cashier's check is counterfeit. We have also
heard of the goods being directly shipped out of the country and the
buyer asks for the refund of the shipping charges as a "finders'
fee." The fraudulent cashier's check is not usually discovered
by the bank till weeks after the goods have been sent. The
seller is then left with their personal funds lost to the fraudulent
buyer and sometimes their goods lost as well.
use of escrows services is recommended for all buyers and sellers.
For any transaction both parties should draft an agreement regarding
payment and refund terms as well as have as much contact information
on each other as possible. Just remember if the transaction
sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For U.S. complaints, use the
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Complaint Form.
For Canadian Complaints contact
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
We also recommend notifying the
Internet Fraud Complaint Center:
To help you in recognizing these
types of scams, we have provided below a list of indicators. They
are only guidelines, and as always, should be tempered with common
- Big Promises
Claims such as 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 money than you are asking for.
- High Pressure Tactics
Be wary of individuals asking you to speed up the transaction beyond
your comfort range. Again, a legitimate deal probably is not going
to move as fast as your money. Don\'t let yourself be pressured --
think things through.
- Requests for financial information.
Donít give out any bank information without establishing a comfort
level with the buyer or seller.
- 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 canít
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.