Smart trading can’t be done without proper safety measures. Our technicians and support team put all their effort into keeping you safe on our marketplace. However, there are also things you can do. Read our tips carefully.
Report suspicious ads and sellers
Below we’ll tell you exactly how to check a seller on our marketplace. If during any of those checks you suspect a scam, do not hesitate to reach out to us! Report any suspicious activity by clicking ‘Report abuse’ in the ad. Our team will get right on it.
Tip 1: Don’t take action before checking everything!
Our most important tip of all: Don’t take action before you’re sure you’re dealing with a legitimate seller. Scammers are often after your money, but they could also be interested in something else. Don’t provide a seller with any of the following before assuring you’re safe:
- Copies of identity documents.
- Personal details, such as your address, social security number, etc.
- Any advance payments.
Tip 2: Keep all relevant info
When dealing with a seller you don’t know, always keep a record of all communication – including the listing. If you become a victim of a scam, your info could help authorities to track down and apprehend the scammer. This includes payment proofs, chat history, call recordings, etc.
If you become a victim of fraud
If you become a victim of fraud, file a complaint with the relevant legal authorities – immediately. You can reach out to a local cyber cell or file an FIR at your local police station. Also report the ad (as described above) and send us an email with all relevant details. We’ll investigate your case straight away.
Tip 3: Check the seller’s company
Although we thoroughly vet our sellers, we always recommend our buyers to double check a seller. Here are things you can do.
Do a quick Google search. Does the company have a website? Do they list ads on other platforms? Are there any mentions on third-party websites? If you can answer all these questions with “no”, you can stop checking.
Check with authorities
There are several websites of (local) authorities you can check. For example, check EU VAT numbers here. You can also check the seller’s local chamber of commerce for any company registration.
Give them a call
It’s best to call the seller. Scammers often avoid talking on the phone. If you don’t want to or can’t talk over the phone, send an email. Ask questions about the used machine or vehicle. If they’re reluctant to answer your questions it’s a sign to move on to the next seller.
Tip 4: Check the ad
Ads can be full of red flags if you know what to look for. These are typical signs of a scam:
- The ad is too good to be true – for example, a very low price. Our TRADUS Market Value Tool can be a good help in determining a fair price.
- The ad is badly written and/or contains poor grammar.
- The seller pushes to sell urgently. Examples of phrases that could be used are “I need to urgently leave the country” or “I’m involved in a divorce”.
Tip 5: Check the merchandise
Even if everything checks out and seems legit, there’s still one step to go. Always check a machine, part, or vehicle before buying it. If this means travelling long distance, be absolutely sure the seller’s address is correct before planning your trip.
How to check the machine or vehicle
Obviously you check the machine or vehicle itself, but you also need to check the relevant documents. Ask the seller if you can see the vehicle’s documented history before making the long trip. This will give you a good idea of what you’re looking at. For more tips on checking a machine or vehicle, see our article on performing a used transport vehicle inspection.
Questions, comments, or suspicions?
If there’s anything we can help you with regarding your online safety, drop us a line! You can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d also love to learn how you stay safe on our marketplace – or any other place on the web. What’s your top tip? Leave it in the comments!