Avoiding Scams

Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scams

Reptiles4sale is not responsible for any scams that you may fall victim to. It is your responsibility to use good judgement and common sense when buying, selling or trading with other people. By using our site and services, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Below you will find a list of basic tips of how to avoid online scams. By no means is this list a complex or detailed list to stop all scams.

  • Do not provide payment to anyone you have not met in person.
  • Do not provide payment until you have inspected the reptile thoroughly.
  • Never wire funds using services like Western Union - Most of the time, these are scammers.
  • Never accept cashier/certified checks or money orders - Banks will cash them, then hold you accountable when they come back as fake.
  • Deal with the person selling / buying the reptile, not their friend, family member or some " Third Party" person that is not the seller / buyer.
  • Never give out your financial information such as your bank account, social security, paypal info, etc.
  • Do not fall victim for the " Trust me " type of sellers / buyers. There is no reason for you to trust anyone until that have shown you the reptile in person.

Who should you notify about fraud or scam attempts?

If you suspect that a Reptiles4sale listing is connected to a scam, please send us the listing details so we can look into it.

Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • The scammer tries to make outside contact via Email or Text instead of using the site messenger.
  • A vague initial inquiry asking about the reptile to try and probe how responsive you are to your listing. They usually use very poor grammar / spelling.
  • They mention Western Union, Money Gram, Cashiers Check, Money Order or anything that can be hard to track back to them.
  • The refuse or make excuses that they can't meet you in person to buy, sell or trade the reptile.
  • They want you to pay them first before they meet you.
  • They want you to pay partial upfront before they meet you.

Examples Of Online Scams

1. The seller ask you for partial payment upfront, then they will ship/meet you.

  • They will try to convince you that you can trust them, they have done this before, they are honest etc.
  • They will say they already shipped the item and may provide you with a tracking code. Please be aware that anyone can generate a tracking code and the box can be totally empty.
  • They will often times try to downplay they do not need money or that they have countless other buyers lined up if you don't agree to their partial payment terms.

2. The buyer offers to pay you with a cashier's check.

  • The buyer will often try to pay you with a cashiers check that is often more than you are asking for. 99% of the time this is fake.

3.  The seller says they only accept Western Union or MoneyGram.

  • Usually the seller will try to sell a reptile that is way under valued and is often too good to be true.
  • They try to convince you that they are having a family crisis or medical situtation that requires them to sell their reptile for a very low price.
  • They try to convince you that they are very trustworthy and that you can believe once they get the payment, they will ship the reptile.
  • They typically will make excuses why they can't accept cash or any other modern payment gateway.

4.  The buyer says they have sent a payment via PayPal.

  • Often times the buyer will say they sent a payment via PayPal, then send you a fake PayPal email saying you recieved funds. To avoid this, inform them you will send them a PayPal invoice, they can pay that way.
  • They send you screenshots of their PayPal saying they paid you. If you did not see the transactions on your PayPal account, then they did not pay you.

Please be safe and use good online judgment when dealing with people online. If a deal seems too good to be true, it often times is.


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