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How to Avoid Scammers/Thieves


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Peter Clausen

Well-known member
Mar 20, 2006
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Sky Islands, AZ USA
The mantis hobby has been plagued these last two years with a flurry of scammers. Thankfully, members are beginning to look out for each other and unfortunately this post must be written. What follows is a list of suggestions which should help to reduce (but never eliminate) victimization.

1. "Too Good to Be True"- If the seller is offering rare or expensive species at ridiculously low prices, guess what? Probably a scam!

2. If the seller is a new member and seems to have an unusual selection of species...probably a scam! Remember to check the breeder feedback threads for a history of the member's transactions. And make a note of the members post count. If they only have a few posts or seem to have joined for the exclusive purpose of selling something...guess what?

3. If you decide to take a risk and ignore the suggestions above, use PayPal. PayPal has a good track record for refunding money to customers (even if they haven't been scammed). I've been reverse scammed where I delivered the goods and then the customer said I didn't. PayPal took the customer's money back out of my account. Though I had a tracking # and proof of delivery, I didn't fight it because it wasn't worth the time, but I lost cost of express shipping + inventory of 3 mantises.

4. If you see other, perhaps more experienced, members asking cautious questions of the seller, pay attention.

Additionally, it is always okay to post a link to the selling member's thread within their sale's thread or to mention that they do not have one. Members and Administration both appreciate this as we work together to prevent situations of theft. But remember, only questions that pertain to the buyer or their products are allowed.

Feel free to PM one of the moderators with suggestions for additions to this list.

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