Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scams in the IFW community and what to look for

The purpose of this article is to give some clarification and information on the types of scams and how to identify them.

The go green scammer : This is a scammer who is looking for referral traders paying on green and paying the same day. This is the most common type of scammer. These individuals will browse the forums looking for a high green paying trader. They usually contact you via PM or IM. They rarely will create posts for this will bring attention to themselves. These types of scammers are usually prepared. They may know ahead of time which sites and offers they can go green on quickly. So, they will seek out the highest payer for those sites. These scammers may have multiple usernames or email addresses. They may be working within a group of other scammers. These scammers usually go red by committing offer fraud or supplying false information.
How to Identify: They may contact you via IM without you inviting them to do so. It seems that scammers prefer AIM as a means of instant messaging but this is not always the case. They may ask for money upfront. They may try and get you to up your payout on a certain site. They usually do not have verified paypal accounts; however, lately these scammers do have verified accounts. They may have email accounts with several numbers in them. If they have signed up as a referral on multiple sites they might sign up with different email accounts on each. If these scammers post on the forum they may post that they are only looking to go green on certain sites. Usually a scammer will have very little personal information in their profile and if they do have information it is more then likely false. These scammers are usually pretty impatient. They don’t want to chat about personal stuff. They want to go green and get paid. They don’t stick around to long under just one username.

The non paying scammer : These are refer to as the sharks. These scammers are looking to buy your green but have no intention on paying you for that green. These scammers will create posts and create the illusion that they are a helpful user on the forum. They may even have a pretty good TR (trade record) or itrader number.
How to Identify: They will spam any new user via PM, IM , email etc. They may make claims that they train newbies but they are very impatient with new members. If they do help a new member they will usually want to tell them which offers to do so they go green. Their profile may be setup to log on to the forum undetected. These scammers will try to avoid setting up a trade on the forum they would prefer to just work the trade through PMs or IMs

The under paying scammer : This is a scam directed towards new members. The scam is to take advantage of a new member not knowing what they should be paid on green. Before accepting offers please shop around and see what other traders are paying for the same sites. Here is a link to give you an idea of what you should be paid : **NEW** What you should be paid for your referral **** PLEASE RATE FREESITES **** - Free Lunch Room You should not accept $15 to go green on FFAMK. This one will probably be debated whether it is a scam or not. But if you deliberately take advantage of another trader so you can profit then that is a scam.

The multi site payout scam This scam is directed more towards new members. The offer is for a high payout ($100, $120 etc.) multi-site green. The scam is to pay $100 for greens on 5 sites. The scammer will only pay when all 5 sites are green. So, if the referral goes green on three sites but has problems on the other two they are made to believe that they didn’t finish the trade so they will not be paid anything. Not even for the three sites that they did go green on. With all the issues with offer crediting lately what are the percentages of going green on 5 different sites and not having any problems?

The green 4 green not really scam : This scam is a scam that has been going on quite a lot in the past few months. This is when a user typically with an established TR seeks out a user with a lower TR to set up a green 4 green trade. The lower TR member goes green first. Then when it is time for the higher TR member to go green this member comes back and says they can not go green do to there is no offers for them to do or some such non-sense. The higher TR member will then say I will pay the average payout for the green they received. There is some debate whether this is a scam or not.

The pay upfront/auction for a friend scam : This is usually a well-respected member with a fairly high TR that has decided to go evil for whatever reason. They will post a trading thread stating that they want to go green for paypal cash, but there's a catch. They say that the green is coming from a friend or relative, they aren't the ones going green (or so they say). The trader will usually make outrageous demands and impose all sorts of unreasonable terms such as high green payment or up front payment. The scammer will either take the money and run (not provide a green), or the green will go red and by the time you can PM them about it, the "friend" or "relative" is long gone. Often times they can even talk themselves out of a ban by blaming the third party or based on their high TR and prior reputation

The innocent scammer : Here is a common one that happens quite a bit. This is usually a new member that goes green and gets paid a few times. Then the user makes a mistake. They violate an IFWs TOS and they go red. They may have been using a proxy or inadvertently committed offer fraud. They didn’t knowingly commit the fraud. But they will not pay the green payment back because they believe the green payment is to pay for the offers that they completed. They don’t understand that they are being paid for their green referral. These users will get frustrated and disappear.

The I have no money to pay you scam : Title says it all. This is a person who is buying greens and advertises that they pay on green. Then when someone does go green for them they claim they have no money to pay for the green. They then try and buy time and ask if they can pay on approval. If they are a legit trader they should have a verified paypal account so they should have overdraft protection. This may be debated if this is a scam or not. I’m sorry if you actively seek referrals and you offer payment upon green, then you should be prepared to pay on green. Another point if you offer a bonus for a same day green you should be prepared to pay the same day you receive the green.

The referral high-jacking scam : This is one that happens more then you think. You just don't see exposed in the Lunch Theft Forum because usually some one goes green and is paid. Let me explain. This scam happens when the scammer watches other trader's trade threads for new members replying to the thread. The scammer may see that the trader who's thread was posted in is not presently online so they contact the new member who posted, and gets the new member to trade with them. Now in most cases the scammer will pay the new member for any green they deliver but to me this is still a scam. The trader who's thread was replied to just got scammed out of a referral. If you post in another trader's trade thread and shortly after you are PMed by a totally different trader, this is probably what is happening.

A Simple Definition of Scam

Scam : knowingly deceiving another trader and profiting from the deception