- General Advice
Always protect yourself when contacting other people on the internet or receiving communications from strangers. Verify the other person's identity before sending any money or items — if they are legitimate, they will have no problem with this as they will expect the same from you. Keep records of everything.
WARNING: Many scammers use Western Union accounts. We advise you never deal with people who ask you to pay into this type of account.
- If You Suspect A Scammer
In the first instance, please report any potential scammers using our Support Contact Form.
We take scam reports very seriously, and very much appreciate users taking the time to report scams and potential scam artists to us so that we can help to raise awareness to users of the Readers' Ads section.
All scam reports we receive are investigated, and if we feel it is necessary to warn users, we'll place a warning message on all Email contact messages to alert them to the most recent scam reports.
Please Note: we treat all reports in confidence and will not disclose your details to the scammer without your permission.
We also include information about scam artists in our automated emails through readers' ads.
- If You Are Being Scammed Or Have Been Scammed
If you think you have been scammed and are not able to get your money or items back, your best course of action is to inform the Police locally.
We do not keep records of individual ads for more than 30 days, so you should retain copies of all correspondence with the suspected scammer. As the transactions are usually between individuals in a private environment, and we are not privvy to these exchanges, unfortunately SOS can only be of limited assistance in resolving situations between different users.
What we can do is to attempt to make contact with all involved parties to try and resolve the matter. Should the Police become involved (and they often have), we co-operate fully in any line of questioning or investigation for which they require our input, but clearly we only have limited information available to us regarding individual cases.