Avoiding Scams

Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

United States


If you are defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department.

If you suspect that a Chapinka post may be connected to a scam, please send us the details.

Recognizing scams

Most scams attempts involve one or more of the following:

Examples of Scams

1. Someone claims your transaction is guaranteed, that a buyer/seller is officially certified, OR that a third party of any kind will handle or provide protection for a payment:

2. Distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check:

3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

4. Distant person offers to send you a cashier's check or money order and then have you wire money:

5. Distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service:

6. Distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which they will ship goods:

7. Foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers, then wiring funds: