Tagged: OfferUp Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , north dakota, OfferUp, , ,   

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon’s board to vote on facial recognition 

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon's board to vote on facial recognition

    As we always say, when meeting someone for an online transaction you should always make the transaction at a local police department. It can go a long way in helping to ensure your safety. However, that was not the case for a man in Albuquerque. This man was meeting someone through OfferUp to sell a camera. The suspect posing as a buyer lured the man out of the view of the police department’s security cameras before trying to rob the man. The victim was dragged about 20 feet after the suspect drove off while holding on to the camera. If someone tries to get you away from the police station it may just be a trap.

    ***

    The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning residents of the two states to be aware of phony car scams that are proliferating in the area. They’re reporting that there are a number of phony car dealerships who are advertising cars on craigslist for a price well below market value. The phony dealerships then ask for the money to be wired to them before cutting off all contact with the victim. When buying a car online from a dealership, always do a web search to make sure such a dealership exists and money should never be wired for a transaction under any circumstance. It’s too easy for scammers to make off with your money while remaining anonymous.

    ***

    Previously, we’ve discussed how high-ranking Amazon employees have called Amazon’s environmental practices into question. Now it seems that shareholders are also getting ready to decide on another one of Amazon’s business practices. Next month the board will vote on whether or not Amazon should ban the sale of their facial recognition software called Rekognition to governments and governmental agencies. We’ve posted before about how a number of civil liberty groups complained about Amazon trying to sell Rekognition to police departments as the tool could be easily used to violate civil rights. Combine Rekognition with all the Amazon Echoes in people’s homes and Jeff Bezos’ ownership in the Washington Post and you could see how some board members may view this all as a privacy overreach on Amazon’s part.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car wash, Colorado Rockies, , , , OfferUp, , ,   

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking 

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking

    When dealing with classifieds transactions, we often recommend using safe zones at local police stations. While safe zones go a long way in helping to ensure your safety, you can still be ripped off if you’re not careful. In Pennsylvania, a pair of suspects were said to have paid $500 in ‘Motion Picture Money’ for a PlayStation 4 at a local police station’s safe zone during an OfferUp transaction. While police were able to apprehend the suspects quite easily, this does show that you should be on your guard at all times even when using specially designated safe zones.

    Meanwhile, in Colorado, a couple found themselves out of $300 after trying to purchase opening day tickets for the Colorado Rockies. They had set up a ticket purchase through craigslist and had met the seller in the parking lot of Coors Field on opening day. The couple even took a picture of the man selling the tickets and his driver license in hopes that this would dissuade the man from selling them fake tickets. Unfortunately, it didn’t as the couple were turned away from the gate for the tickets being invalid. The tickets themselves appeared to be legitimate but what scammers do in many cases is they buy the tickets using stolen credit cards. Once the cards are reported stolen the tickets are canceled but the scammer already has physical tickets that were valid at one time. This particular scammer reportedly even taunted his victims after they tried to contact the seller over the phony tickets.

    Lastly, in the UK, an app has been developed to report possible human trafficking at car washes. The app was developed by an anti-slavery arm of the Church of England and shows users a checklist of signs of human trafficking at hands only car washes. A number of the victims at UK car washes turn out to be people displaced by immigration issues, mental health issues, or being in abusive situations. The app refers any possible sightings of trafficking to the UK’s National Crime Agency who decide if it warrants an investigation. While apps like this have been attempted in the US many don’t show the user how to recognize the signs of trafficking. An app like this designed by the FBI and suggested to the industries where human trafficking mostly takes place could be a boon in the fight against all forms of human trafficking. In the meantime, if you or someone you know could be caught up in trafficking you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888 or at their website.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , grants, , OfferUp, , ,   

    Just another day of classifieds crime 

    Just another day of classifieds crime

    One might think that after over 20 years of having online classified ads being so prevalent online that most people would become more aware of the pitfalls that have become inherent when using some of the less reputable sites and apps. Here are some of the stories that have happened just over the past 24 hours.

    While not technically a classified site even though it does have Facebook Marketplace, a tired old scam has targeted Facebook messenger uses. It’s the grant scam which promises users large government grants to do with what they wish. The only catch is that you have to pay a fee, usually of at least several hundred dollars, in order to process the grant. Of course, you’re expected to wire the money to whoever is supposedly managing the grants. To be clear, the government does not use Facebook Messenger to offer grants and they never offer grants unsolicited. Also, you should always be suspicious of any transaction that requires you to wire money as once the money is wired it’s virtually untraceable once it’s gone.

    In Youngstown, Ohio, there has been a rash of robberies through the marketplace app LetGo. In these robberies, the buyers are posing as men in their 30s and 40s but when the seller shows up to the meeting place they’re approached by teens who then rob them. The article we linked to does have some good safety tips but leaves out the most important one. Don’t just meet someone during the day in a well-lit and well-traveled area as even there robberies and worse have been committed. Instead, insist on meeting at a local police station. This one simple step goes a long way in discouraging scammers and thieves from trying to take advantage of you.

    In the Kansas City area, one man was swindled out of close to $400 after buying tickets from a supposed seller off of craigslist. The scammer had official looking documentation that carried the Ticketmaster branding, the only problem with that is the arena where the concert was being held doesn’t use Ticketmaster to distribute their tickets. The tickets never appeared and the would-be buyer was out of $400 before buying more legitimate tickets from a reputable dealer. The victim, in this case, was an IT specialist who admits that he should have known better showing that it’s people of all stripes and backgrounds that can fall for a craigslist scam.

    For our next story, we stay in Ohio, Hilliard to be precise where police have discovered a counterfeiting operation that was using OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace transactions to allegedly try to launder the money. In this instance, the phony bills were not theatrical money as has been the more popular counterfeit scam lately. Instead, these bills were manufactured and ranged in denominations from the humble $1 bill to the much more respectable $100 bill. Again, the article we linked to has several tips to prevent yourself from being ripped off by counterfeiters even claiming that the marker test isn’t always reliable as some fake bills will show as genuine when the special anti-counterfeit marker is used. In this case, the bills should have been easy to detect as they had markings on them in one of the Chinese languages.

    While not every marketplace platform is perfect, there are very few that go the extra mile in trying to protect its users. For example, Geebo reviews every ad in order to try to weed out the ads that are obvious scams and setups. Maybe if our competitors were more concerned about user safety they wouldn’t keep cropping up in the daily headlines for all the wrong reasons.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OfferUp, , ,   

    Safety still a concern among marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo 

    Safety still a concern among marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo

    Just because we haven’t talked about them in a while doesn’t mean that marketplace apps OfferUp and LetGo have gotten any safer. Just within the last 24 hours, there has been a spate of stories that show safety is not guaranteed when using these relatively new apps.

    On Long Island, police recently arrested two men who were arrested for allegedly using LetGo to either rob or swindle their victims. The pair is believed to have used the app at least five times to rob their victims. This particular pair would have their victims meet them in front of a certain housing development because it was reportedly an easy way for the suspects to escape.

    In Richmond, Virginia, a man was recently arrested for allegedly robbing a man of $1000 at gunpoint. The victim thought he would be buying a car from the suspect that he saw on LetGo. The suspect and the victim met at a public transportation parking lot where the suspect said that the car ‘for sale’ was on its way. Instead, the suspect is said to have robbed the man at gunpoint. Luckily, police were nearby and were able to apprehend the suspect.

    Police in Las Vegas arrested a man that they coined ‘the blue bucket bandit’. They named him that because he would stand on top of a blue bucket in order to allegedly steal home security cameras from local residences. The man was arrested after he was spotted trying to sell the stolen equipment on OfferUp. If you unknowingly buy stolen merchandise you probably won’t be charged with a crime but the items will be returned to their rightful owner. Your only course of restitution is to try to get the money back from the thief at which point there’s a better chance you’ll never see the money again.

    Lastly, our most harrowing story comes from Cleveland, Ohio where a woman went to an OfferUp meet up to buy a TV and took her 1-year-old child with her. The man purporting to sell the TV instead robbed the woman at gunpoint and threatened her child if she did not hand over the money. the victim, in this case, met the alleged perpetrator on a public street.

    What most of these stories have in common is that the victims did not take the necessary precautions when meeting someone from these apps. While these apps may have a slicker design than a site like craigslist, that doesn’t make them any safer. While LetGo and OfferUp have better safety precautions than craigslist unless you’re meeting someone at your local police station, you are playing a dangerous game. As we’ve stated many times before, the old rules of just meeting someone in a public and well-lit place with lots of people around don’t work anymore. People using these apps have been killed in broad daylight over the most trivial of items. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Geebo goes one step further than most other platforms by trying to better protect our users by moderating each ad for such things as scams, stolen goods, and potential setups. We also provide a link in every ad to the SafeTrade Station program.

    We’d rather make an honest living without risking the safety of our userbase.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on January 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas Cowboys, , OfferUp, ,   

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp 

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp

    With the NFL season getting ready to draw to a close a number of teams still in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl Championship. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys who came out victorious against the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend. Tickets for the NFL playoffs game are selling at a premium no matter which team you may be rooting for but as one Cowboys fan found out not all ticket sellers are legitimate.

    While many Cowboys fans were watching America’s Team beat the Seahawks this past Saturday, one man and his girlfriend were turned away the gate of AT&T Stadium for having phony tickets. The man had purchased the tickets from a seller he had found through the marketplace app OfferUp for $900. The seller was said to have not only produced legitimate looking tickets to the game but also produced a receipt and credit card that had numbers matching those used to originally purchased the tickets. Sadly, as we posted about at the beginning of this NFL season, this scam has become all too common. More than likely the scammer purchased the tickets using a stolen credit card before the card was reported stolen. The tickets are then issued before the credit card is reported stolen and once the card is reported stolen the tickets are made null and void. However, since the tickets appear to be the genuine article fans looking to get into a high demand game are being taken for a fortune.

    Much like any other item you may purchase through a classifieds site or app, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from being swindled. For example, you can ask the seller to meet you at a local police station since many stations have areas set up for just such a transaction. You can also try to take a picture of the seller prior to the transaction. If the seller protests at any of this then the tickets advertised may not be your best bet. In the long run, don’t let your passion for your favorite team cloud your judgment when it comes to buying expensive tickets. Most times you’re better off buying the tickets from the box office or authorized resellers.

     
  • Geebo 9:43 am on August 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Duglas Ramirez-Mendez, , OfferUp   

    Dallas man killed during alleged OfferUp robbery 

    Dallas man killed during alleged OfferUp robbery

    Once again, we are saddened to bring you the story of another tragic loss of life. This past Saturday, Duglas Ramirez-Mendez of Dallas, Texas, was shot and killed while trying to sell his car on the classifieds app OfferUp. Mr. Ramirez-Mendez was said to have been trading his Ford Mustang to someone with a Chevy Camaro and would also give the seller of the Camaro $9,000. Tragically, the Camaro never existed and was only used to lure Mr. Ramirez-Mendez into a robbery.

    Instead of meeting a car seller, a teen approached Mr. Ramirez-Mendez and shot him while the victim sat in his car. An accomplice of the alleged gunman claims he had a feeling that the gunman was going to rob Mr. Ramirez-Mendez since the gunman had no car of his own to trade. The gunman and his accomplice have both been charged with capital murder. Sadly, this comes just two months after the Dallas Police and OfferUp announced safe exchange zones at the Dallas Police Department.

    As we’ve said too many times in the past when a senseless loss of life such as Mr. Ramirez-Mendez’s murder occurs, meeting someone in a public place during the day just isn’t enough anymore when it comes to keeping yourself safe. As shown above, criminals have become much to brazen in their attempts to rob potential victims of their money. Always insist on meeting at your local police station especially when a high-dollar transaction like this is set to take place.

    Our condolences go out to Mr. Ramirez-Mendez’s friends and family.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OfferUp,   

    OfferUp teams with AIM Group to bring SafeTradeSpots to users. Welcome to the club. 

    OfferUp teams with AIM Group to bring SafeTradeSpots to users. Welcome to the club.

    Yesterday, it was announced that marketplace app OfferUp is partnering with industry watchdog AIM Group to launch a new website. SafeTradeSpots.com shows a national database of police and sheriff’s departments that have authorized their locations as safe meeting places for online transactions. It’s good to see OfferUp taking this step into user safety considering when you look up OfferUp on YouTube, this is the first video that comes up in the search.

    While we’re glad to see OfferUp start to take its users’ safety more seriously, we here at Geebo can’t help but pat ourselves on the back a little. Back in 2015, Geebo CEO Greg Collier recognized the need for locations where classifieds transactions that require a face to face meeting can be conducted safely. That’s why every Geebo ad contains a link to AIM Group’s SafeTrade Stations that lists a multitude of safe transaction zones all across the country.

    While we’re not in any way trying to take credit for OfferUp’s new safety initiative, we do like to think that Geebo is an industry leader when it comes to user safety. Not only does Gebbo review every ad for potential safety hazards but we constantly strive to educate our users on new and developing risks that are constantly evolving on less concerned sites like craigslist. We take our motto of being the safe community classifieds very seriously and continue to set the bar for safer online classifieds.

     
  • Geebo 9:06 am on May 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: OfferUp, , prepaid VISA card, , stun gun   

    Bizarre OfferUp robbery in Oregon 

    Bizarre OfferUp robbery in Oregon

    A man and a girl were violently robbed in Tualatin, Oregon, after responding to an OfferUp ad for two cell phones. The buyers were instructed to bring the money in the form of a $1200 prepaid VISA card. When the card wouldn’t work the buyers and sellers went to a grocery store to try and withdraw money from the card which also didn’t work for some reason. Usually, when it comes to transactions like this through marketplace apps, prepaid VISA cards are used more for over the phone type scams.

    Possibly out of frustration, the sellers allegedly used a stun gun on the man and held the girl at knifepoint robbing them of whatever possessions the buyers had on them. At the time of this post, the suspects have yet to be apprehended. There was obviously some malice of forethought here since the sellers ended up robbing the buyers, but there were some red flags that something was not right with this proposed transaction.

    First off, anytime someone gives some kind of prerequisite on how they want to receive payment in a face to face transaction, there’s probably a scam in play especially when it comes to any type of prepaid VISA or gift card. Secondly, you should never travel to a secondary location on anyone’s insistence. Thieves usually use this tactic to get their victims away from the public eye and have resulted in tragic consequences. Lastly, meeting in a public place just isn’t the safeguard it once was as scammers and thieves have become increasingly bolder in recent years when it comes to their crimes. You should always insist on meeting at a police station as more police departments are encouraging people to use their monitored parking lots and lobbies as meeting places for these kinds of transactions. If the person you’re dealing with doesn’t want to meet their then more than likely they’re up to some kind of scheme where you could lose your money, be hurt, or worse.

     
  • Geebo 9:29 am on May 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OfferUp, ,   

    Elaborate used car scam hits OfferUp 

    Elaborate used car scam hits OfferUp

    The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently released a report detailing a used car scam that has unfolded in Florida. In Daytona Beach, a man found himself out of $20,000 after purchasing a vehicle through the marketplace app OfferUp. The lengths to which the scammer went to can almost be seen as ingenious if they weren’t so contemptible.

    After the man purchased the truck he took the title to the Florida DMV who told him the title was a fake. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) came back to a truck of similar make and model that was being sold on a car dealer’s lot in California. After contacting police, investigators found there had been three different VIN plates glued to the car. To make matters even worse, police found a GPS tracking device inside the vehicle. Investigators suspect the scammer was tracking the vehicle to try to steal it and resell it.

    Any worthwhile classifieds app or website will have the VIN included in the ad for the car. For example, Geebo vehicle ads require a VIN to be placed with the ad. This way a consumer can check it with one of the many services that provide a car’s history. And as always, if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 9:35 am on May 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OfferUp,   

    OfferUp to take on eBay with new feature 

    OfferUp to take on eBay with new feature

    Marketplace app OfferUp has found some success since they first launched. While their platform hasn’t been trouble-free due to a number of robberies and a handful of murders, they feel successful enough in their endeavors to take on a much bigger company in eBay. Recently, OfferUp announced a new feature where users can advertise their items nationally if they’re willing to ship it across the country.

    This is actually a pretty good idea as the new feature can expand a user’s customer base and since it appears to only accept payment through credit or debit cards it avoids the phony check scam that has plagued craigslist through the years. However, that’s not to say that OfferUp’s new business plan isn’t without its drawbacks.

    The first problem is that in a world where many users have Amazon Prime accounts will customers be willing to pay for shipping when they get it free through Amazon. The second problem is funding. OfferUp has been very tight-lipped when it comes to their financial status. While they have raised millions of dollars through angel investing, no one seems to know if OfferUp is turning a profit or not. While on the surface this feature seems designed to put some money in OfferUp’s coffers, will it be enough to sustain them in the long run, or will they become yet another story of a failed startup that relied to heavy on venture capitalists?

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel