Scammers/Spammers...reminder they exist.
It's time again to remind folks about scammers in the world. A couple of folks clicked on a link PM'd to them by a scammer recently and then entered their VAF password at the link given (don't ever do that!!!). The scammer then logged in here as them and made contact with some other folks about WTB/FS listings. No money changed hands that I can tell, but I had to lock down their accounts until I could straighten things out.
In a classified listing, there should be a phone number, or an N-number, a picture or an email address in the listing....something you can Google yourself. Some write their phone number out in words instead of numbers, or in a mix of words and numbers (a good idea). The person's profile should show info that isn't cryptic. 'PM me or click on this link for more info' should be a huge red flag! Don't click on links sent to you in order to 'get more info'. A higher level of alert should exist on your end when using the email or private message areas.
For me, if a post doesn't have a phone number I pass. "PM me" or "PM sent" is a deal breaker with me. I personally never PM or email in regards to classifieds, but that's me. I worked in I.T. security for a decade, so I'm suspicious by nature, and know some of the risks. I choose to call them if they type in a way to reach them and get a feel for their knowledge of the item being offered over the phone. Your risk level might be different.
This is really, really important. Don't EVER enter your VAF password anywhere but here! If you do, you most likely just gave your password to a scammer...
You can put someone's email address listed in a classified in Google to see if it pops up on some spam lists. Trust your gut. If it's a new account listing a $5000 GPS as a first post....hesitate. Any low-count poster with an item to sell should get more scrutiny from you.
Familiarize yourself more about Internet fraud, phishing, vishing and online security and safety at: https://www.usa.gov/online-safety
(See how if you hover your mouse over the link you can see the SAME address at the bottom corner of your browser? Make sure that's always the case!)
I'm asking the mods to raise their squelch setting. If a mod or I don't get a warm fuzzy or your classified is cryptic in nature, it's gone, and your account locked until I can research. I'd like to thank again the under-appreciated moderators on this site who help me guard against this type thing when I'm away from the keyboard. They delete suspicious posts that I miss when I'm sleeping and stuff. We are lucky to have them around.
Registration Tip: If you're currently a lurker and thinking about registering a forums account, the more detail you provide in your profile (stuff I can verify with search engines), the better chance you stand of me approving the registration. If you leave fields blank and/or the info is cryptic, and the email address is a long combination of random, expect to be declined
. I'm not asking for bank routing numbers, just something I can use to verify you're a current/potential RV-builder/owner. Scammers are sniffing around the periphery, and I need to shore up the walls a bit. If you're not cool w/that, that's OK - you can already read stuff as a lurker.
Sometimes the crazies get in, and I'm sorry for that. We're trying as hard as we can, but there is evil in the world (as you know). v/r,dr