Essential Guide: Scam Prevention

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Essential Guide: Scam Prevention

Post by [ADMIN] Mr J on 30/1/2011, 7:22 pm

At Smokin Mils we will do our very best to facilitate a scam free environment, but we rely on our users using common sense and staying within our rules and recommendations when making trades.

Please follow all of these guidelines when trading:

1) Use an Official MiddleMan
Always use an Official MiddleMan (OMM) when making trades. An Official MiddleMan will guide you through the process step by step and will take the gold from the seller before payment is made by the buyer.
Official Middlemen are highly trusted and professional and will use their methods to ensure a safe trade, including checking if the buyer has a verified PayPal account before payment. Official MiddleMen can be identified by the badge to the left of their posts, beneath the information under their avatar.

For amounts that you are willing to lose you can use an unofficial MiddleMan, but please note that they have NO application process and can easily be scammers. Click here for more details on unofficial MiddleMen.

2) Know the risk of PayPal
PayPal transactions can always be reversed if someone declares that the trade was an unauthorized transaction. They can do this by contacting PayPal or contacting their bank. This means that PayPal payments are never secure. Since it usually requires a significant amount of time and effort (especially when their PayPal is not backed by a Credit Card) to declare an unauthorized transaction people are usually happy to use PayPal for small transactions. For larger transactions you should consider using Western Union as a payment method.

Furthermore, all payment types except "gift" and "payment owed" are easy to take back after the trade by disputing the transaction. You must ensure that the payment has used one of these methods. You can do this by checking that the status of the transaction says "complete" after payment and does not say something else, and the "Order status/Actions" has nothing in it.

It is generally believed that users that have a verified PayPal are more trustworthy.
You can check if someone's PayPal is verified by visiting the link below after replacing the example email with their email:
https://www.paypal.com/us/verified/pal=EXAMPLE.EMAIL@email.com

3) Use PayPal for amounts you are willing to lose - otherwise use Western Union
Unless the person you are trading with is extremely trustable you should consider using Western Union (WU) as a payment for big trades. Western Union is a company that facilitates person-to-person money transfer, and their trades are impossible to reverse (unlike PayPal). To send or receive money with Western Union you need to visit one of their agents. Their payments are instant and their agents are situated in many places (including post offices and even stores) and you probably have one near you. Visit http://www.westernunion.com/ to find an agent near you and learn more details.

Another advantage of Western Union is that you don't need a bank account; you can pay in cash.

4) Be careful of who you trade with
You should always assume that anyone other than an Official MiddleMan is trying to scam you out of your gold or money. Don't rely completely on post count and join date because they don't mean a lot - instead look at their vouches and trades. Don't assume that ranks are trustable because not all of them are, and nearly everyone has the capacity to scam. Talk to the person in MSN to get to know them first and don't let them rush you into a transaction.

5) Always check their email
There will be a lot of people who try to impersonate other members or MiddleMen. You should always check that their MSN email is exactly the same as the email they provided to you on this site. An Official Middleman will alway PM you on this site to verify that they have added you on MSN.

Always ask them in MSN to send you a PM here to verify their identity.

You should also make a habit of doing a simple Google search their MSN address to check if they have been blacklisted from any other forums.

6) Never accept any files through MSN
Even if your virus scanner says its okay, don't accept any file through MSN. Some files can contain encrypted Trojans that virus scanners cannot detect, and some of them can even get your Runescape bank pin and PayPal information.

7) Record your transactions
Take screenshots of your trades so that if you do get scammed you can report it properly and the scammer can be dealt with. You can also download Hypercam to take video footage of your transactions which acts as much better evidence.
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[ADMIN] Mr J
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