When looking for containers for sale, how do you protect yourself from falling prey to scammers? This is a serious question that many prospective buyers face when they are looking to buy or opt for container rental. The tips we will be sharing in the following sections will help you protect yourself from falling prey to these fraudsters and scammers.
How fraudsters function?
Most of the fraudsters create a new web site, and meticulously craft out social media channels that perfectly replicate those of legitimate companies. The goal here is to convince people that they are a genuine firm. Scammers also add real address of the firm they are mimicking but replace the email address and phone number with their own details.
The next step is to send their representative to a prospective buyer in order to be more convincing. They will insist that the payment must be made with an online payment such as e-transfer. They avoid transactions through credit cards since a buyer can dispute such transaction in case of a scam. Scammers want the money to be delivered instantly so that they can easily disappear after the transaction is completed.
Thus, if you want to avoid falling prey to scammers, you should do the following.
10 Tips to Avoid Falling Prey to Fraudsters
Tip #1: Check the Website
First, you will have to do is to check how old the website is. A simple domain search will tell you when the website was created. A good and well-known company will have a website that was created a few years ago, while a scammers web site will be very recent.
Since fraudsters frequently create websites and stop using them as soon as the scams are successful, they will usually invest less time into a website than a well-established company.
Tip #2: Verify Their Address
It is still possible that an established firm will sometimes create a new website. In such situation, Google Maps listing will prove to be useful.
You will have to check if the company is listed on Google Maps as a verified business and if the contact details on the website as well as the Maps listing match.
Tip #3: Check Phone Number
Validate whether the company has a landline number as part of its contact details. The reason is that such number will have its associated area code, which is not available when it is only a mobile number.
The area code will provide you with the opportunity to check the location of the company and whether it matches the information available on the contact details page of the website. In addition, validate that the landline number is in function and whether a company representative immediately picks up when you call.
Tip #4: Evaluate Company Profile
A good way of checking how professional the company is by reading their About Us page on their website.
A fraudster will be more interested in putting something up as quickly as possible and will generally not invest much time in the company’s description and background like a well-established company would.
Tip #5: Compare Prices
To avoid falling prey to frauds you will have to check the price offered by different companies in order to assess a standard price range. For example, if a company is offering a price that is suspiciously low compared to the average, this should raise a red flag. Scammers keep the prices incredibly low to lure prospects into their trap.
Tip #6: Appearance in Search Results
Another red flag to watch would be if the company’s website is not appearing in organic search results and is only visible in paid advertisement section.
As scammers create websites on a regular basis, it will not be instantly visible in Google search results.
It takes time and dedication to get the site listed in search results, time that scammers will not invest.
Tip #7: Check Social Media Channels
If the social media page does not have enough posts or the posts are all very recent, then it should raise suspicion. In addition, you should check the reviews posted by other users on their social media posts. Are these new reviews? Are there no reviews? Are they only all extremely positive? Are there replies to negative reviews? Answers to these questions will help you judge whether it is a genuine site or a scammer.
Tip #8: Avoid Online Payment
Once an instant online payment is done, it is exceedingly difficult to track scammers. As such, you need to pay by check or credit card so that you can dispute the transaction if you get scammed. This will give you a chance to get your money back.
Tip #9: Go On-site
You should validate whether the company agrees to let you check the container, such as a 20 feet container on-site. If the company is opposed to your visit, you are most likely dealing with a scammer.
A genuine company will have no objection to you visiting their site and checking the container in person. In fact, a real company will be more than happy with your visit since this will ensure that their prospective customer is fully satisfied with the quality of their product.
Tip #10: Fake Pictures
When dealing with a scammer, you will see that the pictures listed on the website are taken from somewhere else. When you ask about the picture the scammers will say that these are just for reference and are only sample pictures.
Moreover, such containers will not be having any shipping numbers on them which clearly indicate that you are communicating with a scammer.
A Final Note
Thus, if you want to protect yourself from scammers, then due diligence on your part will be very necessary. You will have to stay alert and take simple steps to verify genuineness of a business before purchasing a container.