Avoid Scams

Staying Safe at First Class Ads

Scams and Fraud to Avoid

We understand that online transactions can be simple and convenient, but please remember that face to face transactions are the best way to minimize the risk of fraudulent activity.

Most local classifieds on First Class Ads, are posted by honest people and are safe to use. Yet, as online scammers are becoming more widespread and creative with their tactics, consumers need to be aware of how to protect themselves.

Here on First Class Ads we are trying to prevent the increase of fake ads. We work at modernization of our software which automatically detects and removes a large amount of scam listings every day. We also have employees to keep you in safety.

However you as our visitors play a crucial part helping us delete bad ads and also informing us. If you see suspicious item, please let us know.

Here are some tips to help you avoid scams and fraud

The best way to avoid scammers is to deal locally, with people you can meet in person. Scammers will often contact you from another country or somewhere far away, asking you to ship the item you’re selling.

and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer “buyer protection” or “seller certification”.
Please read our Terms of Use.

Scammers try often to post fake ads, selling items that are significantly underpriced. If you see any of these fake ads, please report them by clicking “report abuse” in the ad.

If you’re asked to wire funds, you’re talking to a scammer.

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Don’t give out bank account numbers, passwords, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, credit card numbers, social security numbers, or any other personal information.

Scammers will often send you a fake cashier’s check valued above your asking price. The scammer will then ask you to wire the over-payment back to them. Your bank may even cash this check, but when it’s discovered that the check is fraudulent, you will be held responsible by your bank.

Types of Scams

Legitimate posters do state this, but scammers are starting to use it to their advantage. Be on the lookout for excuses that may delay them from sending the item. 

For example: “My bank takes three days, so I probably won’t see the money till Thursday. When I get the money, I’ll send it.”

Nowadays, most e- transfers are received within minutes. If the user says it will take longer, they’re likely buying time to receive the money and transfer it to an untraceable account.

PayPal is considered one of the safest methods for transferring money online. Most posters will agree to use PayPal for their transaction. If they insist on completing the transaction through a bank transfer, please proceed with caution.

(Remember, if you pay via PayPal, the seller does not need your PayPal information.)

If scammers think you’re hesitant on the sale, they create a sense of urgency so you complete the transfer right away. They may do this by telling you they’ve received a lot of interest or that someone closer wants to purchase the item.

Only deal with people in your area. The best way to avoid scammers is to deal locally, with people you can meet in person. Scammers will often contact you from another country or somewhere far away, asking you to ship the item you’re selling. Beware of pets that are otherwise expensive or rare being offered for adoption or for very cheap.

  • It could affect any category such as dogs, monkeys, cats, horses, birds — anything that tends to be expensive where they can trick you with a really good price.
  • It could even include pictures and other details – often copied from a genuine seller‘s ad.
  • The seller will claim they had to move or give another excuse for why you can’t see the animal in person (examples: moved to Africa for missionary or development work, sold the pet to someone who moved overseas and now they want to sell it back, etc.).
  • They will ask for shipping money even if the animal was initially listed as free. The animal will never arrive.

While many scams follow a script , sometimes fraudsters use conversational and casual language to put the user at ease. Their motive is to make you feel comfortable that they’re not the typical overseas scammer. 

If the poster uses an abnormal amount of slang, especially when making an excuse, please be wary of the transaction.

Fraudsters try to manipulate the First Class Ads community by using sad stories to gain your compassion and trust.

If you haven’t received the item you’ve paid for, and the poster is using a death in the family or an accident as an excuse, it’s likely the ad is a scam.

Unfortunately, tragic things do happen to good people — including our users — so investigate this with caution on the off-chance it’s true.

A phishing scam attempt is the act of sending a text or email that claims to be from a legitimate business or business function, asking you to visit a website that requests some form of personal information. It asks you to click on a link and enter your personal info into a webpage. The attacker tries to lure you by wording the message in a way to get you to react immediately.
Scammers can mask the URL or link they want you to click. To see if it’s masked, hover over the URL and look at the pop up link to see the real URL they’re trying to direct you to.

ID is not required to purchase pre paid cards and they are hard to track which is why these fraudsters are using them.

Please note that even if you speak on the phone with someone, they may not be genuine. Fraudsters are becoming more crafty and may make personal contact to reel you in, such as a phone call. The best way to complete a transaction is face-to-face and at a location both parties have agreed upon.

First Class Ads Delivery Scam via Whatsapp / SMS

First Ads Class does NOT currently offer delivery and is not affiliated with any delivery service. 

If you receive any Whatsapp or SMS messages from potential buyers offering Gumtree delivery as a service, do NOT click on the link or enter your payment details.

You should immediately end the conversation and report this activity to our team here. If you have already provided your payment details, please contact your bank or credit card provider so they can assist further.