OK so, the only way to complete stop a scammer is to make it impossible for folks to post. Sorta the same question as how to make it impossible for a burglar to get into a house..., seal the house up so there are no windows nor doors...,
Correct, the long time members who have been "hacked" have allowed by accident a nefarious person electronic access to their PC. That person then has gone through files and found member ship here, and the password. That person can then do one of two things..., they can log on and monitor what the victim is posting without the victim's knowledge, so IF they are patient, they can wait until the victim makes an online purchase, and discover the victim's bank card number, expiration date and that special number on the back of the card. Then BAM! the account gets drained with some sort of "purchase" not authorized.
The other thing that the nefarious person may do, especially if they are impatient, is they can log onto any site where the victim is a member, and then change the email and password. The member is then locked out, but the nefarious person can masquerade as that member, offering a fraudulent sale. Which is what has happened in the past two times of which I'm aware.
Nope the account has been stolen so an every day member would catch it pretty quick. You could not log on as a member, BUT since the account is no longer linked to your personal email, THEN you could start a new membership to be able to post the hack to the rest of the members and get the hacker shut down. Then Angie could correct your original account, and delete the new, redundant one.
You can also (iirc) send a message from your private email to Angie by clicking on the "Contact us" tab in the lower right side of this page. This takes longer but if you suddenly found yourself banned, that would be an option to find out why if it was unclear to you.
As I've explained, the existence of a "paper trail" or anything identifying the subject generally does not garner prosecution, or if it does it's minor and when an addict is involved, they simply don't care.
To Thwart these guys....,
a) Check the post count and the date joined, and LOOK at what they have posted. IF they have recently joined, and done nothing more than greet other new members, or approve of posts without adding anything..., no actual knowledge of black powder shooting for example, this may be a scammer who is boosting their post count.
b) If they then offer something for sale that is at a rather low price, the "too good to be true" price, is another clue... OR..,
c) If a) above applies and then you get a private message that's a tip about a third person who is selling something, that's a clue. "Hey I saw you were looking for X, and I know a guy who is selling X, and here is his email"... that's likely a scam.
d) IF you're not sure, ASK the person to take a photo of the item in a manner that you specify, with an additional item that you request. "Can you send me a photo of the lock on the gun with two quarters and a nickle and a penny next to it?" IF they don't comply then halt the negotiation and ignore the seller. If they object about you questioning their honesty, a short explanation of why should suffice, and if not.... then halt the negotiation and ignore the seller. WHY the coin combination? You should use more than one coin, since folks will sometimes put a single coin into a photo online for scale..., and a scammer could simply repost an old ad with such a photo. A random coin combination means the seller must have the item at hand. OH and LOOK HARD that the photo isn't exactly like a previous photo of lock that magically now has the coins..., some scammers will try and photoshop one of the fraudulent photos to fool you. IF they don't comply, giving you a new photo with the coin combo...,halt negotiation and ignore the seller.
e) If you think the deal is good, then use a USPS money order, and get an address, not a P.O. Box.
Not fool proof as it doesn't stop a guy with a stolen black powder gun and a camera, some coins, an address and a bank account from simply saying "I will sell this to you", getting the money order, cashing it, and simply not completing the transaction.
If you are the seller, why not just accept a personal check? You can hold the item until the check clears & the money is safely in your account. At the same time the buyer has some protection if the check is lost in the mail, as he can stop payment on it. MO's are a PIA & if lost one must wait 60 days before even filing a claim. Then one has to go thru all the USPS BS & maybe get your money back. This is not the dark ages, as all bank transfers are electronic & at the speed of light. It is possible to confirm the check is good & transfer the money to your account almost instantaneously, but the banks don't. You can usually confirm the check is good & money transferred in a day or two depending on how busy your bank is. Just don't understand people's fear of a check. PayPal & other "new" payment methods leave everyone open to scam & theft & scare the Bejesus out of me. If you are a buyer, the bottom line is do your due diligence about who you send money to regardless of method & always remember, Caveat Emptor!SAME HERE postal M/O the only way to fly..with a street address
You said something in your longer post about avoiding scammers and how they have likely been operating here, and how accounts behave when hacked, that caught my eye.So far the scammers are targeting folks who buy, not the sellers because they then would need to liquidate the item after it arrives, further delaying their money <LD knocks on wood>
The problem when you use a personal check as a buyer is the seller then has you bank account info and bank routing number as it appears on your check, which may allow them if they are a scammer to extract money from your account.
That's when you can see the person that you are talking to live on your phone. We did it weekly when our AF son was in Germany. It was very comforting to see him safe. If you skype with a seller, he can show you the gun under consideration. Doesn't mean he will send it, but it's better than blind trust.