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  • Geebo 10:09 am on January 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , OfferUp   

    The phony check scam revisited 

    The phony check scam revisited

    A man from Grand Island, Nebraska, has found himself out of over $500 after falling for one of the oldest scams that has been taking place on sites like craigslist almost since the beginning. The victim was trying to sell a piece of furniture on OfferUp and received a cashier’s check for $2000 more than the asking price. That should have been the first red flag indicating that this may have been a scam.

    The buyer asked the man to deposit the check and wire the difference back to them. The man followed the instructions and thought he was in the clear. However, days after he deposited the check, it came back as fraudulent. His bank is now holding him responsible for the $2000 he withdrew from the bank on a phony check. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence.

    Stories like this show that there needs to be constant reminders of this scam and its ilk. If a buyer sends you a cashier check, be suspicious, and if it’s over the agreed upon amount it’s definitely a scam. Also, wiring money to anyone that you don’t know personally is always a recipe for disaster as the scammers could be somewhere where apprehension and prosecution is almost impossible.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , OfferUp, stolen goods   

    What to do when your stolen stuff shows up online 

    What to do when your stolen stuff shows up online

    For some reason, the media loves to glorify stories about ordinary citizens who get their stolen goods back when they show up on places like craigslist or OfferUp. A majority of the time the stories are about bicycles because its something that the original owner can just ride away on once they locate it and meet the thief. Here’s an example.

    The problem is with these kind of homemade stings is that they can easily go wrong. For instance, two people in the Dallas, Texas area are dead after a man found his stolen camera on OfferUp. He confronted the seller and was able to get his camera back, however, an argument ensued which resulted in gunfire being exchanged. Tragically, both the man and the alleged thief were killed.

    Both craigslist and OfferUp are notorious for thieves trying to sell stolen goods on their platforms. If something of yours is stolen in any kind of burglary it’s a great idea to look on these platforms for your items. However, under no circumstances should you approach these thieves on your own. Always notify your local law enforcement. They may not work at the speed you wish they would. They may not even be able to get your stuff back, but no gadget or bicycle or any other material good is worth putting your life in mortal danger.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on December 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , merger, OfferUp,   

    What the Letgo/OfferUp merger story could really mean 

    What the Letgo/OfferUp merger story could really mean

    The online classifieds industry has been abuzz lately with the story of a potential merger between classifieds apps LetGo and OfferUp as reported by Recode. While the talks never went past the approaching stage, Recode seems to think that a merger of the two or an acquisition of OfferUp by LetGo could be inevitable. However, if a merger were to take place, would the emerging business be a successful one?

    According to Recode, the financial situations of either company doesn’t appear to be too rosy. OfferUp has had trouble raising a new round of Funding while LetGo is still focused on building a userbase. If both companies were to merge at present, it seems like it would not benefit either company, leaving the merged company with razor-thin profit shares if any.

    The problem with companies like this are the same ones that many tech start-ups have. Instead of trying to succeed with their own vision, many tech start-ups are simply looking to be bought out by a much larger and successful brand. Since LetGo and OfferUp have had no offers by their bigger competitors they may be looking to consolidate in order to simply keep their heads above water.

     
  • Geebo 10:08 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , OfferUp,   

    Beware the phony iPhone X 

    Beware the phony iPhone X

    Since the iPhone X has been released it has been touted by some in the Apple ecosystem as the greatest cell phone ever invented, while others have said the iPhone 8 is an upgrade enough. However, if you find yourself in the market for an iPhone X, you should be on the lookout for phony knock off versions of the popular phone being sold online.

    One man in Chandler, Arizona, fell victim to one of these knock offs. He purchased the phone from someone on the OfferUp app. The seller had a good reputation on OfferUp which could possibly lead one to believe that seller reviews on OfferUp could be faked. The box was sealed, the package had a serial number and an IMEI number which was said to have been verified. The man paid under the list price of $1000 which should have been a tip-off. No one is selling an iPhone X at a loss. The scam became obvious when the man fired up the phone and an Android prompt greeted him. Android is the Google made operating system used by most phones that aren’t iPhones, while iPhones use Apple’s iOS. These knock off phones have been around even before the iPhone X was released.

    While OfferUp has removed the alleged seller from their app, what’s stopping them from creating a new account to start the scam all over again? As slick and glitzy as the OfferUp app might be it still seems to have the same old problems like the antiquated craigslist, rampant crime and scams galore. The more things change the more they stay the same.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , OfferUp, , shooting   

    Particularly violent month for classifieds 

    Particularly violent month for classifieds

    The month of October was pretty brutal month for the users of classifieds websites and apps. A few of the stories that stood out were the murder of a former policeman and the shooting of a newlywed couple. All the victims believed they were meeting someone to buy or sell something through online classifieds, but instead lost either life or limb.

    It started with a robbery turned murder in Mesa, Arizona, when a man was shot and killed by someone posing as a person who was selling a high-end laptop on OfferUp. That was followed up by the murder of a former Tennessee policeman who thought he was meeting someone to buy his car from craigslist. Bizarrely, an armed robbery set up through LetGo took place at the same site where the officer was killed. Then the month ended up with a newlywed couple from Virgina, being shot and maimed during an OfferUp meeting.

    A number of these transactions took place in broad daylight in public places;. That doesn’t matter anymore as criminals have adapted to the old suggested safety precautions that used to go towards keeping people safe. The best way to keep yourself safe is to insist on making the transaction at a local police station. Many police stations now welcome these transactions so they can be completed in a safe environment.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car theft ring, , Hosuton, OfferUp,   

    Craigslist and OfferUp used in multi-state car theft ring 

    Craigslist and OfferUp used in multi-state car theft ring

    Recently, 16 people from the Houston, Texas, area have been arrested for allegedly running a multi-state car theft ring that netted them over $1 million. The crew would use fake IDs to rent cars from rental car services and would then sell these cars states away. They were able to sell the cars through unmoderated classifieds.

    The suspects are said to have used both craigslist, which is no surprise, and classifieds app OfferUp to sell these cars to unsuspecting buyers. A number of the suspects were caught after they had bragged about their crimes on social media. It’s unknown what has happened to the money given to the suspects by buyers, but if history is any indicator, it will be a long time before they may see any of it again.

    This is the problem with unmoderated classifieds. When cars are being sold for ridiculously low prices it should be a red flag to any site or app that deals in car sales. If the price is too good to be true, many times it’s either stolen or the car doesn’t even exist. Precautions could be put in place by these sites and apps, but it seems they’d rather not spend the money to help ensure a better customer experience.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on May 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , OfferUp   

    AIM Group confirms our suspicions about OfferUp and LetGo 

    AIM Group confirms our suspicions about OfferUp and LetGo

    In a recent blog post, classifieds industry watchdog organization the AIM Group, appears to have confirmed some of our suspicions about classifieds apps OfferUp and LetGo. In our blog post about the Forbes article that called us ‘for naught’, we questioned the financial and userbase stats put out by the two apps. While we postulated the use of clickfarms may be involved, AIM Group founder Peter M. Zollman seems to believe the claims of success put out by both apps are fabricated.

    Regarding the claims of monetary success from both apps, Mr. Zollman had this to say…

    OfferUp “says it will handily surpass $20 billion in goods sold this year, with about half coming from car sales.” (To which we reply: “Oh really? And how do you value transactions when they never take place on the site, when listings are reposted over and over, when your users don’t have any transaction capabilities, and when user visits are no indicator of who’s actually buying or selling?” We don’t take estimates of sales on OfferUp, LetGo and similar sites with a grain of salt; we take them as unmitigated baloney, to use the polite term.)

    Mr. Zollman also calls LetGo’s claims that they will facilitate $23.4B in transactions baloney.

    With all due respect, the allegedly fictitious claims made by both apps seem to exhibit a desperate attempt to not only please current investors, but also to try to attract new investors in the ever-increasing shell game that is startup funding.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on May 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Forbes, , , OfferUp   

    Geebo is not for naught, despite what Forbes may say 

    Geebo is not for naught, despite what Forbes may say

    Recently, Forbes.com published a blog post about startup classifieds apps LetGo and OfferUp and how one of them may be the latest craigslist killer. By that we mean a proverbial David taking on the Goliath of craigslist, and not one of the 100+ murderers that have used craigslist to find their victims. We’ll get to those startups in a moment, but first a comment in the article made about Geebo needs to be addressed.

    Halfway down the page Geebo is dismissed by the Forbes blogger in the following manner…

    Every few years, someone in Silicon Valley looks at Craigslist and thinks he or she can do better. In the late 1990s, the startled newspaper companies tried collaborating with each other on various projects, and in 2000, Geebo launched as the “safe” Craigslist. In 2004, there was Oodle, a well-financed website that later tried to incorporate Facebook identities. All these efforts basically came to naught.

    The Forbes blogger seems to have not done his research as very little what he wrote about Geebo is correct. Geebo was founded in 1999, however, it was not launched as the “safe” alternative to craigslist as he put it. Geebo CEO Greg Collier founded Geebo to provide a better user experience than what was being put out by hard-copy newspapers. Not only that, but at the time of Geebo’s founding Mr. Collier had not even heard of craigslist as it had not yet become the brand that we know today. Mr. Collier even said that he didn’t want Geebo to be anything like craigslist. He also wanted Geebo to have its own users rather than trying to take users away from craigslist. Since that time Geebo has in fact marketed itself as a safer community classifieds. That’s a claim that Geebo takes very seriously considering the number of murders and other crimes that have been committed through the so-called industry leaders craigslist and Backpage. Even relative newcomer LetGo has had a couple of murders committed through its app.

    The rest of the Forbes blog post seems to be nothing more than a love letter to OfferUp. While OfferUp may not be headquartered in Silicon Valley, it still follows the same old Silicon Valley routine. They went to venture capitalists looking for seed money in order to get their startup off the ground. And let’s face it, apps like LetGo and OfferUp are usually founded for one primary reason and that’s to be bought out by a larger company. Geebo has always been a self funded company and has maintained profitability in an industry where many startups don’t even have a monetization plan. In fact Geebo generates more net profit than craigslist per 1 million users.

    Speaking of users, the Forbes post states that LetGo has a userbase of 7.3 million while OfferUp users come in around 6.3 million. Legitimate user numbers can be tricky in determining since a number of companies use click farms overseas to inflate their numbers. These click farms can also be used to scrape content from other sites.

    This isn’t even taking into consideration that Forbes.com isn’t the financial journal of record that it once was. A few years ago they opened up their website to just about anyone who cared to write for them. They have basically become a content farm for the financial sector.

    In conclusion, Geebo has been a successful business in an industry that has seen many proverbial bodies left in its wake. We were here before the startups and we’ll be here after they’re gone. All while maintaining a reputation of being an ethical and safer classifieds.

     
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