A word of warning to anyone shopping on the Internet
For most of us, the Internet is a useful and enjoyable source of information and entertainment. But for a criminal few, it’s another new way to make money illegally. International crooks are now targeting ‘For Sale’ ads on smaller specialist websites as a way to pass stolen cheques and launder illegal money, and sad to say Agilitynet is no exception. Fortunately, though, the scams are fairly easy to spot if you know what to look for. Take a look at the list of warning signs which we’ve included on the ‘Fleamarket’ page for several months now. They apply not just to Agilitynet but to any online auction or For Sale section as well as email invitations.
All the same, Lindsay Freeman has been generous enough to share her experience when she almost lost £2,000 by advertising a dog guard for sale. Read on and learn from Lindsay’s hard-won experience…
I recently advertised a dog guard and tailgate guard for sale via Agility Eye and Agilitynet, hoping that this would ensure that only genuine agility people would enquire. After about a month, I had an inquiry from someone via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), who said that she lived in Amsterdam. A few days later, I received an e-mail to say that her 'associate' was sending a cheque drawn on an English Bank. Then another e-mail was sent saying the cheque they had sent was for more than the goods, so when it arrived would I pay it into my bank account and when it had cleared could I transfer the excess back to them in Euros – details to follow.
I was rather shocked when the cheque arrived for £2,000 but not overly suspicious. I decided to pay the cheque into my bank account (on a Friday) and wait for it to clear before releasing the funds and goods. Over the weekend, I decided that I had been rather naïve and that I should have sent the cheque back to her associate who lived in Athens. The envelope that the cheque arrived in had to correct postmark. I contacted my bank on Monday who advised me to contact them and ask them to stop the cheque.
I sent an e-mail to ‘Sharon’ and requested that she had the cheque stopped and one for the correct amount be sent. Within 15 minutes of sending the e-mail, I had a phone call from her associate in Greece. The man who had a foreign accent told me that the funds had already been cleared and demanded that I transferred the funds immediately. This person was very intimidating, and it is possible that some people would have complied with his demands. I told him that the cheque he had issued was with the same bank I am with (HSBC) and they had told me differently. I also told him that I had spoken to the police who considered that it could be a case of fraud. At that stage he said goodbye and hung up. I have heard nothing from either of them since and the cheque has now come back unpaid.
Anyway anyone want to by a dog guard?
She has three WSD/Border Collies, of which she runs two. From left to right on the picture is Taz (Tazzle Bazzle)- 7 1/2 years, Cassie (Bekkis Aphrodite) - 2 1/2 years and Tyke (Tyke By Nature) - 8 1/2 years. Tyke won me out of starters at Supadogs this year after a few near misses. Cassie came out at the end of last year. However due to work and holiday commitments our season this year started at Supadogs. I love the sport and every clear round to me is an achievement especially with Tyke.
She is married but has no kids (other than her husband.) She is currently in the Royal Military Police (Army) and has been for the last 11 years.
From Rosey Durrant
My reply...'Only his SPERM is for sale!' I had to laugh. (16/11/04)
Val from BC Buddies
I would advise all people selling items on the flea market to try and reply only to those names they recognise, and to people responding to ads I would say, try and make your response friendly and chatty. (21/11/04)