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How to avoid scammers

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • An inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Any suggestion of using Western Union, Money Gram, a money order, shipping or a "guarantee".
  • An inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction.
  • An insistence on communicating via a foreign 'lawyer', often one with dodgy credentials.

Avoiding scams

You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • INSIST ON MEETING SELLERS/BUYERS IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid the vast majority of scammers.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • DO NOT HAND OVER CASH/MONEY ORDERS before taking possession of the goods/gaining access to an apartment.
  • THE LOCAL EUROPE GmbH IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification".
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)

Reporting scams

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?:

Your local police station.
The Local: If you suspect that an advert on the Noticeboard might be a scam, please email the details to support@thelocal.com. Be sure to include the URL (or post ID number) in your message, plus any other information that might help identify the scammer.

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