Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

How to spot on-line classified ad scammers

Bryan Bosch

ThumperTalk's classifiedsare a great way to sell your bikes, parts/accessories, gear, apparel and related items. Our site gets TONS of traffic from off-road enthusiasts that are highly likely to be interested in your item(s). However, the downside of our popularity is that we're going to attract scammers posing as buyers, looking to take you for a ride (not the kind you're interested in either).

Scammers are depending upon your ignorance, hoping that you've not educated yourself on the classic scam approaches and want to exploit your honesty and trust. So, what can you do? The following are things to look for. The more items that are suspect, the higher the likelihood they are a scammer. This, coupled with a healthy dose of common sense should keep scum-of-the-earth spammers at bay.

1. Is the potential buyer's email address listed on the Official TT "Dirt Bag" thread? If so, delete the email and move on. Proof positive, they're trying to scam you.

2. Does the user have a post history? To find out, copy their user name and conduct and "advanced search". In our experience, scammers will almost always have zero posts. If they have posted, do they sound like someone that knows anything about bikes?

3. What domain did the user email you from? Most scammers will email you from @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, @gmail.com or other domains offering freebie email.

4. Is the potential buyer from overseas? Ask yourself why they'd be willing to import a bike or part instead of buying locally.

5. How's their use of the English language? Peculiar phrases and simple spelling errors should heighten your suspicions.

6. Are they making lots of excuses to avoid a phone call such as, "I've recently moved, so my phone isn't hooked up yet and I don't have a cell phone." Scammers tend to stick to email.

7. Are they overly anxious to do a deal with little to no questions about your item and little to no haggling on price? Real buyers want to make sure they get the right item at a fair price, so most will have some questions before they make an offer.

8. Do they offer to send you a certified check, money order or want to wire funds (Western Union Moneygram), immediatley asking for your complete contact info? These are serious sign you're dealing with a scammer. Banks will cash fake checks and they will hold you liable when the fraud is uncovered weeks later!

9. Does the potential buyer refer to a shipping agent or that they are negotiating on behalf of their "client"? If so, bail! This is 100% a scammer!

If you want to educate yourself futher (a good investment of your time), here are a few sites worth checking out:




So, what can ThumperTalk do about scammers? You just read it! The best we can do is to educate our members. Our site is an open forum, so there is no way to know if a user registered for legit reason or purely to look for unsuspecting victims.

If the user's email address is not already listed on the offical TT "Dirt Bag" thread, please add it to the thread and forward the emailto us, so that we can lock the account.

Please do not post the contents of the scammer's email to you outside of the the Dirt Bag thread. We're trying to train our user's to look for this information in a central location. The more user that refer to this thread, the more success we'll have in minimizing the scammers rate of success.

If you've been scammed, take the time to report it:

FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)

FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)

Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501

Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/)

Non-emergency number for your local police department.

Good luck, happy selling and don't let your guard down! :banghead:

Sign in to follow this  

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

  • Similar Content

    • By dieseldork
      As the title says, I'm looking for something better to help contain my bike in the bed of my truck.
      I like these two things:
      and have considered things like these:
      The top two are pretty expensive.... but if they work great, they're probably worth it. I can't help but wonder about just using some plain 'ol load binders like these to clamp the bike by the pegs to some d-rings I install in the bed floor.
      Just a random thought on the last one.
      Thoughts and comments?
    • By Motomotives
      Need some feedback on this one. I'm interested in finding out how most of us transport our bikes. Doing some research on the most common method and can't seem find a reliable survey.
      Let me know who prefers van, truck, open trailer, closed trailer, toy hauler, or receiver hitch rack.
      Look forward to the results and will post percentages.
      Thanks guys.
    • By speedtoad
      I think honda let us down with the new CRF250L. We didn't need another Japanese softcore Dualsport option. Suspension looks good for street but not enough for serious off-road, and 320 lbs wet is way to much for a 250. This is basically a small trail bike just like the CRF230L.
      Looks like the motor is from the CBR250, tuned for better low end. Should last forever and at $4499 retail the price is low.
      I won't be trading it for my DRZ. I would consider the new NC700x for a commuting bike. I saw it at the motorcycle show. Its lockage 21 liter storage was a nice option.
    • By gots_a_sol
      I see there was a thread like this, but it hasn't had a new post in almost 2 years, so lets see if this one has better luck.
      I picked up my '03 WR on Friday

      Took it out for its first ride on Sunday along with my buddy with a yz400. The day went well and so far there isn't really anything obvious that needs to be changed.

      Today I flushed the old coolant for some engine ice.

      Also I adjusted the rear brake lever down and removed the odometer/cable also since it is broken. I'll pick up an hour meter before the next ride and the yz parts to eliminate the speedo drive.
    • By Oldmossyspokes
      I've been reading many posts, some good, some bad on our new kid in town...the 2013 Honda CRF250L.
      It is my impression that most of the posts are from riders that either (a) don't have one or ( haven't rode one; this is not surprising since they are hard to get right now...the dealers can't keep them in stock. hmmm...pondering...can't keep them in stock.
      Yes, the supply is limited due to overseas demands for the little scooter..but still I think, "can't keep them in stock" says something to the market.
      I recently traded in my 230L on a DRZ400S and my wife traded her 230L in on the new CRF 250L. WHY? Because we wanted to give up some gas mileage for a bit more speed and better suspension...we got just that on both accounts.
      I took the 250L for a little spin down HWY 101 in Washington state...the hilly winding part along the Hood Canal and found this machine to be a breathe of fresh air over the 230L on the tarmac. It could easily keep my 235lb body going 65mph without waiver. It cornered well, handled well, was nice and quiet and achieved 70 mpg.
      Then we headed up into the Olympic mountains...the old logging roads and fire roads. The 250L kept right up with the DRZ and had stellar handling compared to its little brother the 230L.No issues of hitting bottom on either end...not exactly a tractor but that's what the shifter and clutch are for when the terrain goes south on you.
      Yes, your not going to win any enduro's on this nor astonish anybody on a track or load it down with 200lbs of gear and take off on a 2000 mile trek...but, that's not its purpose.
      Let's examine reality for a moment :
      Nobody ever has, nor ever will, make the perfect "Dual Sport" bike...this is a pipe dream conjured out of desperation and limited resources...or something related to that sort of mind freak in some way. If one wants to ride "anywhere" one needs at least three, if not four bikes.
      We to like to go on the trails but we take our WR250F and WR450F on the trails...that's what they were made for and they're great for that...but not so much on the roads because one just rides from gas station to gas station. (and needs ear plugs and a mouth piece to keep ones teeth from rattling out).
      We also like to ride on the highway...on a road bike preferably...nice smooth inline four like my old GS1000, or a Gold Wing, BMW or what have you...don't really care as long as its comfortable and fast.
      Next we have the adventure bike...The gentleman's "dual-sport"...sweet on the highway and fine on the dual track but too much work on the fire roads or trails. Enter the F800GS or similar orange bike.
      Finally, we get to the Dual Sport; part dirt bike, part adventure bike...good gas mileage, enough suspension for some rocks and logs, street legal and emissions correct. For the days one doesn't want to bother trailering the WR, but still may get into some crap a big bike can't handle without an expert rider at the helm. The 250L is fine for this...what we call "bike packing in the back country"...beats walking by a large margin. Did I say fine? I mean the good kind of fine...not stellar...not a pig...just fine. Honda nailed that with a good price tag...not to much, not to little...just fine.
      Myself, at 6'5" and 235lbs, prefer the DRZ400S, but Ive been riding for 35 years and can deal with the high seat...frankly if not just from the size standpoint the DRZ is also...fine. Yes, Honda answered the desire of a whole lot of people, just like us, with the 250L...its a dual-sport and it serves that niche well. Its an improved 230L from our view and that's just what we wanted...just a bit more...not to much...just right.
      If one wants an orange bike...shut up and go buy one...they made them for those with your needs and wants. The 2013 Honda 250L is not for you and was never intended to be for you. Most recreational riders of average size, that have a job, will love this little dual sport on the county pavement and the logging roads...Thats where they ride when they say "Dual Sport".
      Good Job Honda ! Please make a CRF400L...I'll take two.
      I'll never understand those that need to hate something else in order to like what they want...twisted at best....good day.