01-08-2014, 01:15 PM #1
How to prevent to loose cards to a scammer and Must Send Fisrt (MSF) explained
On SCF, we take scammers seriously and we created many tools to prevent member fro being scammed.
Some people try to make money or build collections by steeling cards from other collectors/sellers. There are two type of scammer. One is the one that does this all the time and the other are often those who had a great reputation and suddenly decide to scam a few person and get out of the hobby.
On the second, it's very hard to see it coming because they often can have 100% with many hundred of transactions under their belt. So there is not much that members or SCF can do about these cases.
But for professional scammer, we have many tools to help members not be part of their scams. Often these scammers create a new account, and make a ton of transactions all at once and then just disappear and never send anything. Then they will try to come back later under a new account and do it all over again. Since 2008, as a programmer of SCF, I created many tools to help members. We've already had a MSF rule in place but that did not really stop scammer and we would catch them once a member got scam. So I coded some tools for staff to help find these new account of know scammers and we now find some of them, but not all of them.
I also coded a restriction so that when we place a member No trade / no sale / no buying allowed, this is under their name as a badge
this restriction makes it impossible to create a trade with this member in the trade manager. So this was a great addition as we did see member creating trade even if the tag was there before I coded this restriction in the trade manager application. Now it just impossible for any one to create a trade.
How can you prevent yourself from being part of their scam?
Understand the MSF rules and play by the rules. There is two type of Must Send First (MSF) tag that we add to member account.
1- The new member MSF:
This will show in the trade manager under the member's name:
I MUST SEND FIRST
ON ALL TRANSACTIONS
This is applied to a new member account until they reach 20% feedback. The only time we will not apply this tag is if a member applied for transferred feedback from a other trading site we support to have similar rules as SCF enforce. Mainly banning scammer and having a valid feedback system. So if a new member has a tag and you don't have a MSF tag, never send cards or pay money until you receive their end.
If the member has a permanent MSF (see below for explanation) and you are a new member MSF never send cards or pay money until you receive his end.
If the member is a new member MSF and you are a new member MSF, you both send at the same time. But you also open yourself to possible scammer. My suggestion is to only do very small trade with new member. Do not engage on big high end trade as this is where scammers will try to get you. My suggestion is to only do trade that include big amount of money with establish member and by this I mean 40 + feedbacks with 100% positive. Why 40? Because often scammer will buy many low end cards just to get to 20% feedback and then start their scam. Very rarely we will see this with 40+ positive.
Remember that Paypal can't always get your money back to you because scammers know how they work and often will have no money in their accounts. If you send cards, SCF has no way to retrieve them for you. All we can do is to ban a account. So until a member reach 40, you are still at risk. The risk is lower but it's still possible that this is a scammer and why I suggest to keep trade on the lower side.
In the trade manager you have a section that define if a member is required to send first:
Sending condition: (member name required to send first here) must send first including any money transaction.
So always stick by the sending condition. You should only send at the same time or pay right when the trade is created if the sending condition state this:
Sending condition: Both trader send at the same time except for money transaction, the buyer needs to pay first and seller has three business days to mail after receiving the payment.
Now the other type of MSF is:
2- Permanent Must Send First
In the trade manager the member will have this tag
I MUST SEND FIRST
ON ALL TRANSACTIONS
These members always send or pay first unless they deal with a other Permanent Must Send First member. With a new member MSF they are required to send first and same thing with any member with no tag. Again check the sending condition to make sure if one member is required to send first and do no pay or send money until you receive your end first.
What to do if a new member is trying to ask you to send first when you are not required!
The best way to prevent scammers from scamming a member is to report any MSF required to send first. Often this is done with PM and the best way to report them is the use the report feature available in PM. Just under the bottom of the PM before the box where you can reply, you will see a black triangle icon that when you put you mouse over, it will say : report this post.
This will create a thread in a staff forum and send email to admin to review the report. It also has the advantage of showing the content of the PM without you having to possibility to modify the content of the PM. This prove to us that this is the actual PM sent and never was modified like if a member was forwarding a PM, since they can modify the quote part and we can't be sure this was the exact PM. The report is the best and fasted way to warn us of member trying to by pass the MSF rule and give us the opportunity to review the account for possible previous ban account. We then do a lot of research to make sure this is not a previous scammer. We can also contact the member and explain the MSF rules and give warning/infraction and have this member on check.
How can I do a search on possible scammers before doing a trade I would not want to be scam?
Let's say you really want a high end card, the member is not MSF but only has 20 some positive and you are not sure if you should do the trade but really want the card, or you are MSF and want to trade with a other MSF but you are not sure if you should.
Then do a search in our bad trader list, you will find a link under a button on the top of the site.
On this page, you can research the member real name, check the zip code only in the location field, that could potentially bring you to a previously ban account. If you do get a match, I suggest you contact a mod and express your concern and you match found on the bad trader list. If you do not have the member's real name, then you can ask the member to post the trade for you and then it will give you is real name with the address and then you can do a search.
What are the tell signs a new member may be a possible scammer?
Often a sign that a new member is a possible scammer and one I have seen often, will be a photo-bucket filled only with the cards we almost never pull. Cards so attractive that it will be easy for them to catch you with a card you absolutely want. They grab images anywhere on internet and then make a free photo-bucket site and fill them up with cards they never had.
One trick to make sure they have the card in question is to ask them to take a picture with them holding the card, If they refuse, stay away from the member and contact a mod and explain the member did not want to prove he had the card and could be a good case to review and for us to keep a eye on the member. Often scammer are found because some member contact us, so do not be afraid to let us know of your concern. We are there to help out.