Avoid Scams and Fraud

How to avoid a scam | Who to notify | Recognizing Scams | Examples | Actual Scam Emails

You can avoid most scammers by following these rules:

DEAL ONLY WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on LemonFree.

NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.

FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.

LEMONFREE IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTIONS, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"

NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.

Who Should I Notify About Fraud or Scam Attempts?

  • FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
  • FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
  • Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
  • Non-emergency number for your local police department.

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on LEMONFREE may be part of a scam, please email the details to "feedback@lemonfree.com". Be sure to include the URL (or ID number) in your message.

Recognizing Scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, Ebay's Safe Purchase Program (Does not exist) or a "guarantee"
  • inability or refusal to meet face-to-face

Examples of Scams

  1. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check
  2. you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your vehicle sight unseen
  3. cashier's check is offered for your vehicle
  4. value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service.
    Banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
  5. scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

Actual Scam Emails Sent to LemonFree Sellers

Email #1

Goodday seller , I am sonya hunter from peyton colorado springs USA.i am 32 years old , i am intrested in purchasing your 1991 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT. get back to me with the present condition of the 1991 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT.ASAP ..................sonyahunter2006@yahoo.com Regards sonya

Email #2

I hope you are serious in your intention for buying, don`t take it personally, but I had many problems with fake buyers in the past. So if you decide on buying the car, I want the deal closed only through eBay`s Safe Purchase program. You will make the payment to eBay and they will hold the money until you receive the car. After you receive the car and you inspect it, the money will be released to me, in this way we are both protected. Anyway, the car is available and I guess you could be its new owner if everything turns out all right and, again, you are serious about buying. I am located in Helsinki, Finland. I moved here a few months ago, brought the car with me, but  unfortunatelly I am not able to register it here, as it has US specs and emission stanards, non compliant with European regulations. My final price on it  is 7800 $$. If you will take this price, I am willing to pay for shipping and insurance to your location. Please get back to me A.S.A.P. if you decide to buy, and include in your e-mail your full name and address so I can start the deal with eBay. You will receive all the transaction details from them.

 

If you have any more questions or concerns or would like to alert us of a potential scam please send them to feedback@lemonfree.com

 

Thanks,
The LemonFree Team