1. Only accept trades and cash when selling an item. Do not accept Personal Checks, Cashiers Checks or Money Orders as payment.
Money orders and checks are the preferred payment method of scammers. They are easy to counterfeit and take a long time to clear your bank account. By the time you know that the check was declined you'll have already sent your item. Click here to learn more about money order scams https://www.lets-ride.com/classifiedadvertisements/thescams.htm.
2. Do not accept out of town deals that involve shipping items or sending money.
This is the oldest scam in the book - "I'll send the item as soon as your payment gets here." Only the item never gets sent.
If for some reason you insist on sending your money to an unknown party, protect yourself by utilizing a reputable escrow service. Be forewarned - some escrow services could also be scams. Never use an escrow account that the seller sets up for you.
Remember, TexasGunTrader.com is a local classifieds website for the state of Texas. It's best to be leary of any out of state offers.
3. Use the hand shake method, Deal Face to Face.
Some deals are too good to be true. Some deals are just really good. How will you distinguish between the two without a personal inspection of the item in question?
Meet the owner face to face. Inspect the item thoroughly. Ask the owner about the item's history. Meeting the owner face to face can tell you volumes about the item you are about to buy. If buying a firearm, try to meet at a local range, ask to test fire the firearm (offer to clean the gun after use and buy your own ammo). Remember, take your time. Caution is appropriate. If something doesn't seem right, take a day or two to think it over.
4. Research the item you are about to buy.
You should know the value of the item, how to inspect it's functionality and what weak points to look for. Also, know how to appraise any parts or accessories that come with the item.
5. Report any questionable activity to the administrator immediately - email@example.com
6. Report scammers to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. The ICCC is the FBI's site dedicated to fighting cyber crimes.