Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

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Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:26 pm

I was talking to a guy in DBN from which I wanted to buy some snakes, now the problem is, he wont send the snakes before I pay in full, I am willing to pay a deposit and the rest on arrival of the snakes, i.m.o the risk is equal for myself as well as for him, but with our hobby that is being abused by scumbags neither one of us is willing to give in, he wants me to pay in full and Im not willing to pay in full before I receive the snakes and see that all is well, now dont get me wrong, this post is not at all to start a fight or bad mouthing anyone, I am merely stating that it is quite sad that honest people cant take the chance to trust each other because of stupid people using the system for their own gain!!

I guess it comes down to preference, but i.m.o anyone sending snakes somewhere should be willing to take a deposit and the rest on arrival of live, healthy snakes, and the guy on the receiving end should pay at least a 50% deposit in order for the guy to ship your snakes, as I said, for me the risk is equal to both parties, that is just my opinion though, care to share your thoughts?
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Westley Price » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:34 pm

Your arrangement does sound fine, but you have to remember, the seller (if he is not a scammer) might think that you are a scammer. So it's a double edged sword.

I doubt that your seller is a scammer otherwise he would have just taken the deposit and ran!

It is a tricky situation and that is why it is always good to have a network of contact across the country (and this forum is exactly such a network) so that you can easily ask someone to please go and look at the snakes and confirm that they exist, are healthy etc.

I am 95% sure if you post a topic requesting someone to take a look at some snakes you intend on buying, that you will get a few offers.

Another aspect to consider is if the snakes die during shipping/transport. If the seller provided healthy snakes at the point of departure and something beyond his control results in the death/damage of the snakes, how can he be held liable?

I am not sure where you are based, but that is why the expos are such great events; you get to see the exact snakes you intend n buying, you get to talk directly to the previous owner, you slap the money in his hand and you personally transport the snakes back home. That's the ideal situation for all parties.
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:52 pm

Hi Westley,

Thanks for your imput, 100% agreed that it goes both ways, that is why I think both parties should be willing to compromise a bit and meet in the middle, its a give and take situation...

I like your idea of asking someone to checkout the snakes for you, but these snakes are so nice, that person might just decide to buy them for him/her self, hahaha, now I sound paranoid hey...LOL :smt021

Also agreed that if they die from anything out of the senders control he should not take the knock, but once again goes for the buyer as well, he cannot take the full loss for something that wasn't he's fault either, so the situation stays very difficult!!

I am based in Centurion, I go to all the expos, but this is a really unique pair of snakes, not something you will just find around every corner...

I guess that's life hey, some you win, some you lose, unfortunately this time I'm on the losing side...
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Westley Price » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:02 pm

And you also have to remember, every single hobby has its scammers.

I am sure if you talk to some guys in the tropical fish industry or exotic birds or whatever, they will be able to tell you some horror stories of getting ripped off.

If the snakes are so nice, you can ask the seller to sign a very basic contact (will take you 10 minutes to draft) saying that you get right of first refusal of the snakes.
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:29 pm

I'm sure you'll get it everywhere, you see it by just looking at places like Gumtree hey, I didn't mean anything bad or negative towards the reptile hobby, was just stating that for scammers its a quick buck, but it has a much bigger effect on any hobby it affects, its a sad reality... but I am now talking to the guy to work something out, maybe we can come to an agreement, it would be happy days!!!
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Chopper 1 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:52 pm

Say thank you to Nigerian scumbags ......................
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:01 pm

Absolutely hey, had interaction with a few in the past whilst on Gumtree, I just sometimes wish I could get hold of one!!!
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Westley Price » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:08 pm

I actually recently read a book that talked a bit about the tactics used by specifically what is referred to "the Nigerians" although they actually come from quite a few West African countries.

When I read their scams I usually think to myself, "Who falls for this rubbish?" but they actually plan their scams to be so transparent.

If their scams were too well thought through, with proper English and fake IP addresses, they would have lots of responses from people from all walks of life and levels of education. They would then need to reply to each of these and let's say 95% of the people who make contact realize that it is a scam and back off.

Now these guys have wasted a lot of time and effort trying to hook the fish, only to have them escape. So now what they do is the PURPOSELY make the scam as ridiculous as possible, written in poor English with a Nigerian email address etc. to make sure the people who contact them are complete idiots and are more likely to fall for the scam.

So now instead of getting 100 responses of which only 5 will result in a successful scam, now they get 5 responses of which 4 will result in a successfully scam. So less work for the same amount of return.

Quite ingenious really...
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:26 pm

I have always said, these guys are far from stupid, they make a living out of ignorant and unlucky people, thus they need to be excellent at what they do, but yes, it can only be an idiot that falls for their tricks, you can see a scam a mile away.
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby kj_royals » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:14 pm

I have sent many snakes across the country, durban, p.e, cape town etc. I prefer dealing with people in the same province face to face, but that's not always possible. I do ask for full payment before releasing any animal. I think I may have flown over 30 animals with bid air. I've never really had a bad experience. One of the very first animals I flew was probably the only hiccup I had but it wasn't really a big issue. The buyer wanted me to send a boa to durban. He agreed to pay for the shipping. He received the snake and a copy of the invoice but never reimbursed me for the shipping as he agreed. Was a couple hundred bucks that I wrote off. Though I've never had a problem with animals dying in transit. I can not be held responsible for what happens when an animal is booked in at the pet lounge, Its completely out of my control. I suppose It's a risk that buyers are willing to take if they really want the animal. I'm flying an adult green tree python to cape town tomorrow, a snake worth thousands of rands and the buyer has no problems was paid in full almost a week ago. Though I have been in this hobby for a while and a few people know me personally. I don't post a lot though
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Ruan Stander » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:20 pm

I've had the same problem Tars, missed out on a few deals before for the same reasons.
And that is correct, a very large number of criminals (most notably in organized crime) are actually highly intelligent individuals. Some of the things they come up with are just incredible.
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby michael » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:10 am

There are scammers on both sides. Personally I won’t ship any snakes until I have received full payment, shipping included. If the buyer doesn’t know me I am quite happy to give someone in his area as a reference.

What is extremely frustrating to me is the amount of buyers who are literally there just to waste your time. Most request heaps of pictures and then quietly disappear, many say that they definitely want the animals and when you are ready to ship, they all of a sudden can’t take what they wanted. I now don’t even take a buyer seriously until I have cash in the bank.
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby moe » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:52 am

I personally think we shouldn't be shy to ask for help on this forum infact a few people i have met thru the forum have saved me from a few scams, all because being new to the hobby i almost bug them(sorry guys haha) when i am buying stuff from people i dont know.

Dont be shy to ask around about a seller, you will find out that all the realiable sellers are known by all in the hobby and the upcoming ones are known aswell.
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Tars » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:21 pm

Hi guys, thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it.

I do understand the points from sellers, especially the point Michael made of buyers keeping you busy for so long and then just disappear!! Unfortunately it stays a risky thing to ship and receive things like this over long distance, I guess its a chance one has to take...

If there is anyone in the Balito area in DBN willing to check out these snakes for me I would be forever grateful, the guy will be available on Sunday, if there is someone that can help, please let me know so we can tie up details, you can just drop me a message here, or whatsapp @ 0795440192..
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Re: Sad to see our hobby being abused by scammers and ...

Postby Mitton » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:54 pm

What is the name of the person you want to buy from, is he on this forum?
If it is someone active on the forum then you might get people to vouch for the seller, making it so much easier.
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