How to Spot a Scam

At Sport Horse Nation, we strive to provide you with a positive, friendly advertising experience. As horse lovers ourselves, it is our hope that this websites helps you find your dream horse or your horse’s perfect new partner. Most of the people who view this site are honest and good horse lovers, too. But some of them are not.

The internet has changed the way we communicate, and in terms of sales, we can expand our market and reach many more potential customers than the days of local newspaper classifieds and neighborhood flyers. The downside to internet advertising is the unfortunate existence of fraud and scams. While you’re thinking about making a sale, they are thinking about stealing from you.

There are several ways to spot a scam. A strange cryptic email – often with bad grammar – is a good first clue. Like this one:

re:regarding your posted advert
Hi, i am not sure if you got my previous let me know asap if you ad is still up for sale.i will be sending you a check for payment and if you are ok with it then do get back to me with your full name and full mailing address including your phone number so as to send payment asap. do get back to me with your earliest reply.

If they do not ask any additional questions about the product or they ask unusual questions without naming the item, you may well be suspicious.

Here is an example:

I came across your ad and I’ll like to know the following questions regarding the ad.

Q#1.How long have you owned it? much is your last price?

Q#3.what is the condition of the item?

Q#4.Do you accept (PayPal) as a mode of payment?because my payment method is only through Paypal due to my present location.

If they give you really complicated instructions about payment and shipping or want to bring in a third party to complete the transaction, that is a big red flag.

Here is a good example:

Sounds fine. I am pretty fine with the price and I will take care of the shipment. Please confirm your name and address so that a certified check can be mailed to you ASAP.

Your information has been sent to my client to issue out the payment to you and the shipping commission has been included. I expect you to send the difference on the payment to the shippers that will come for the pick up.

Let me know as soon as you receive the payment so that I can tell you what next to do. OK?

Sometimes, the scammer will give you a totally outrageous scenario to explain the complicated instructions, like in this example:

Thanks for the email,and sorry for my late reply,the saddle would be shipped to Warsaw in Poland,i am buying it for my son,I work as a casino staff on cruise ship,due to the casino policy the dealers have prohibited us to use the phone and hope you will understand that the email is the best way I have to communicate with you because it’s more easier to check my email when I have brakes,I insisted on pay pal because i don’t have access to my bank account online and i don’t have Internet banking too,but i can pay from my Pay Pal account,as i have my bank a/c attached to it,i will only need the e-mail address you use for the registration..Notice you don’t need to bother yourself about the shipment,i have a pick-up agent that will come for pick-up,they will also determine and secure the shipment,kindly send me send me some pictures.

Finally we have an example of fraud where the online scammer nearly got away with it. Thankfully, the seller recognized the signs and acted on her suspicions before it was to late.

She didnt really ask anything about the saddle. Just asked what my best price was. I was asking $2900. So I said my best price was $2750 and she would pay shipping or $2800 and I would pay shipping. She emailed me several times asking if I had gotten the certified check. When it came yesterday, it was not certified, but was a bank in Texas and had a company (a LLC) as the account holder. The check was for $4,000.07. She emailed me 3 times this morning, telling me that she “expected” me to go to the bank this morning and I was to wire (Western Union) the difference in the amount to this other person with an address in Kansas. The name of the person sending the emails and the name of the person I was to send the item to were different. It was very odd. She said a shipper would pick up the saddle tonight. I almost just deposited the check and wired the money, but instead went into my bank and told them the story. They said this is VERY common. I would have been out the $1250 that she wanted me to wire her, and my saddle. The bank took the check and is sending it to their fraud department. I called the state police and the attorney general’s office, who also said this is very common.

Nation Media LLC and Sport Horse Nation make no representation as to the trustworthiness of any inquiry. You respond to inquiries and move forward with a sale at your own risk. Nation Media LLC and Sport Horse Nation are not responsible for illegitimate inquiries or fraud.