Avoiding Scams

The VSECU classifieds are a great way to buy, sell or trade items with other VSECU members and Vermonters. Unfortunately, there are people that use classified systems to scam unsuspecting buyers or sellers resulting in loss of money or items. VSECU is not liable for transactions that take place as a result of using our classifieds system and if you feel you will be, or have been, the victim of a scam you should contact your local authorities.

To protect yourself from potential scams, follow these general rules of guidance and always use common sense when dealing with people you don’t know. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Deal Face-to-Face

Most scammers refuse to meet face-to-face. They often state they live far away, are in a branch of the military and are stationed outside the country, or try to gain sympathy by sharing personal information about their family, or a medical or financial situation. They usually try to offer a third party delivery or pickup service to complete the transaction. If any of these scenarios describe your transaction, it’s probably a scam.

If you receive a:

  • request to wire funds. Never wire funds as part of a classifieds transaction.
  • request to send your account information. Never give out your financial information.
  • cashiers check from an institution you’ve never heard of, for the incorrect amount, or on paper-stock that feels like regular paper. Beware of fake cashier’s or treasurer’s checks.
  • request to run a background check or credit check on you. Unless you’ve met the landlord or employer in person and completed the correct documentation, do not give this permission or information.
  • request to use a third party provider. Never trust that a delivery or pick up service is legitimate.
  • request to send you keys allowing you to rent or purchase something sight unseen. The item or housing opportunity may not really exists.

Personal Safety
If you are going to meet someone face-to-face you should:

  • Meet in a public location – never your home or place of business
  • Bring a friend
  • Tell someone else where you’re going, who your meeting, and why.
  • Bring your cell phone with you. Use the audio recording feature if you have it.
  • Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Who Do I Notify if I’ve Been a Victim

If you met someone face-to-face and have been a victim of fraud, contact your local authorities. If you’ve been a victim over the internet the following resources are available for you: