I haven’t seen any guide like this around this site yet and I think it might be a useful addition but I'll leave that up to you guys to decide I have never scammed in my life and do not plan to; my knowledge is simply from reading up on it and from people attempting to scam me in the past. This is not an attempt to make everyone overly paranoid I am simply making everyone aware of what is out there; which may actually deter scammers. Table of Contents 1 Introduction 2 Types of scam 3 Tips for trading 4 Paypal & how to deal with them 5 What to do if you get scammed Introduction In this world there are some naughty people who would rather sell imaginary stuff than sell anything legitimately, or buy yours and somehow make you end up with nothing. These people make trading very difficult for those who are actual real sellers/buyers because they constantly have to worry about these scammers. There are several different types of scams and some are more common than others, I will detail each below. Types of scam Paypal: Probably the most common and annoying scam is the Paypal one where people pay you via Paypal then you give them the account details or virtual cash and they go straight to the Buyer Complaint section and start up a complaint, this basically means you risk having the whole payment reversed and you end up with no money; virtual or real! Virtual money: When buying virtual money you can pay the other person with the cash/account/etc. and then when it comes to them giving you the money they simply log off or block you on email and IM. Virtual accounts: There are many ways that virtual accounts are scammed. The main one is where you pay for the account and then they give you the wrong username/password or simply log out. A more annoying scam is where you pay, receive the username and password then using the recovery question(s) the seller takes back the account. Tips for trading Heatware: www.heatware.com is a great website that allows you to receive and submit feedback for other users, quite similarly to eBay's system. This allows you to see if you are trading with a trusted seller/buyer. You can use your Heatware ID as evidence that you are a trustworthy seller/buyer. This allows you to make tons of trades securely and knowing that you are both trusted traders. Heatware is not bound to a single forum so you can use it for almost anything. Paypal: I have a whole section devoted to Paypal because the scams are so common; see the next section for more info. Virtual money: Virtual money is quite a difficult one to do safely. Asking for some proof the seller is legitimate is a good start; get a screenshot of the money from them and make sure it looks real. They should be able to give some proof that they are a good seller, ask for maybe an ebay user ID or their username on another forum. The main tip I can give is to only trade HALF of the virtual money, then the other person gives you the real cash and then the trade is completed. Virtual accounts: Take screenshots!! These will be very useful in several situations, mainly for Paypal (detailed in the next section) but also to prove to others that the seller is not legitimate. Screenshots are incredibly easy to take. Open up Paint or Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Go to the Window/page you wish to screenshot and press the Print screen button (sometimes labelled PrntScrn) Go into Paint/Pro/Photoshop and press Ctrl + V or go to the edit menu and PASTE. The screenshot will appear and you can save it. Screenshot stuff like IM conversations and take a few of the account when you manage to log in. Screenshots are especially important to sellers, screenshot giving the details (they can be blacked out) and when the seller accepts the trade/says thanks etc. if they log straight off after you give the screenshots make sure you screenshot this; they are probably off to start a buyer complaint and by taking a screenshot of it you can prove that they never said thanks for the account or even tried to sort the “problem” out with you. Paypal & how to deal with them I have never had problem with Paypal support you just need to follow a few rules. 1. Explain the full situation – Paypal don’t know what happened so explain the full story. They paid you for X and then you stuck to your end of the bargain (provide proof here) but then they logged or said X without even TRYING to sort out the “problem”. Tell them you can’t understand why they have added a complaint because it is so short after the transaction took place and they have not tried to contact you saying there is a problem. 1. Be patient – There is no point in trying to rush the complaint to being finished because you won’t argue your case properly. 2. Be polite – These people are having to deal with the most moronic complaints from a day to day basis, things like “Dear Paypal Customer Support” and “Thank you for taking the time to resolve this situation” are just some of the things that you should make sure you say to make their handling of the complaint a lot more pleasant. As mentioned before, a picture speaks a thousand words. If you can provide evidence of them logging out before the transaction is complete or even them saying something incriminating then you have practically won, if you are feeling particularly lucky you should even add something like “I apologise that you’ve had to clean this mess up I can’t believe people like them are allowed to use Paypal!” and maybe they could get a punish for scamming you LOL. What to do if you get scammed Troll Hunters are a voluntary organisation that specialise in hunting down the "trolls" of the trading world (www.trollhunters.com). If you manage to get an address or contact number of the person you are trading with then give it to them and if you are lucky they will try to track down your seller. If you followed the above tips but somehow still got scammed then there usually isn’t a lot you can do. Make sure you let other people know you got scammed by posting their forum/email on your or their thread (do not create a new thread as this is very annoying). I’m not sure what this forums policy is but try and get in touch with a Mod or Admin and explain your situation to see if they can issue a ban/IP ban to avoid it happening to anyone else. I am open to any suggestions/criticisms on this guide and may add to it if I find I’ve missed anything or think of anything extra I could add. Thanks for reading I hope this guide is of some use to you!