HORSE SCAM – FRAUD ALERTS !
While the Internet can be a safe and convenient place to do business, scammers are out there in “cyber world” targeting unsuspecting consumers. The LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com website was built to educate you, the consumer, and help prevent you from becoming a victim of an Internet fraud scheme.
WHAT IS THIS SCAM ABOUT?
A buyer will contact you via e-mail about your horse for sale. They will pay for the horse with a counterfeit cashier’s check. In most cases, they will make the check for more than the selling price and ask you to send them the balance. The seller often takes the check and ships the horse not knowing the check is fake. The seller is notified by the bank of the counterfeit check 14 to 20 business days after the transaction and the seller has lost money AND their horse.
- Fake Ads – We are seeing an increase of fake ads being placed on all classifieds sites. We are doing our best to identify and remove them. If you have knowledge of a fake ad, please report emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with any knowledge you have of the situation.
- Warmblood Scam This is a horse scam that is currently circulating internet classified websites. The seller is offering a very expensive breed of horse well below market price. Other breeds often used are Friesians, Gypsy Vanners, American Walking Ponies, various Warmblood breeds, and others. They specifically target more expensive breeds to make the buyer think they are getting a bargain. Common phrases used in their ads for these types of scams are: Loving horse for adoption, Friendly horse for rehoming etc.
- Check/Wire Fraud Scams – Cashiers Check for MORE than Your Asking Price. They will send you a (COUNTERFEIT) cashiers check or certified check (cheque) and ask you to send the difference to them or their shipper by wire transfer or Western Union.
- Scammers use free web-based email addresses such as yahoo.com, ymail.com, gmail.com, live.com, etc.
In cooperation with MyHorseForSale.com, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints, research, develop and refer the criminal complaints to law enforcement agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IFCC was intended, and continues to emphasize serving the broader law enforcement community, to include federal, as well as state and local agencies, which are combating Internet crime and in many cases participating in Cyber Crime Task Forces.
Please go to this web address to file your scam or horse fraud alerts or complaints. http://www.ic3.gov
HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM OF THIS SCAM?
Learn more about scams at “LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com”
Accept cash, Western Union, or Wire transfer for payment. Or, have your bank authorize the cashier’s check before you ship the horse. If it sounds to good to be true… it usually is.
- Never ship a horse unless payment has been received and you verify that all funds are in the bank.
- Use an escrow service to be sure that your funds are safe.
- Speak to the buyer via telephone and verify all information.
- Ask for the phone number of the issuing bank and call to verify fund on the check sent to you.
- People from overseas, VERY RARELY buy horses from non-USDA approved horse facilities.
- VERY RARELY do people within the USA use a broker from overseas to buy a horse.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true… it usually is.