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Thread: Interesting Scam/Fraud Problem to Solve

  1. #1
    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Interesting Scam/Fraud Problem to Solve

    I own www.getpuppies.co.za / www.puppiesforsale.co.za and it gets a LOT of traffic. It's ranked #1 for a lot of high-traffic keywords and my AdWords campaign is simply awesome.

    That's all well and good but now with the "success" of the website, I've run into a problem: Scamsters.

    They post ads of OTHER people holding pets and use enticing descriptions and focus on the really high-demand breeds. That combination results in a lot of people being scammed.

    I've tried a lot of things to try and stop them but none have worked that well:

    - Blocking gmail.com, etc (This resulted in non-scammers being blocked)
    - Allowing only unique numbers (Not very effective)
    - Allowing only unique emails (Also not effective)
    - Charging (Almost no one paid)
    - Charging less ($0.50 via PayPal - still not many paying advertisers)
    - Manual moderation (There are just too many scammy ads posted daily for this to work)
    - Only allowing 1 post per user per 7 days (Scammers created LOTS of accounts)

    I'm earning a good packet from AdSense (nothing amazing but still good money) so I don't care about charging for ads and have since dropped that but I need a way to validate advertisers so that the site's content can grow again. (I wiped all the old ads in an effort to "clean up" after receiving many scam complaints).

    What can I try next?
    Last edited by Dave A; 20-Aug-12 at 09:20 AM. Reason: url correction
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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Hi Norri - have you got a Scam Warning posted somewhere telling people how to recognise/avoid possible scams?
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Hi Mike Yep there's a link in the footer of every page.
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Hi Norri, should be easy enough but will require a bit of work for you!!
    All payments routed through you, once you establish the puppy is delivered payment gets passed to the breeder, of course you charge a % to cover your costs and give you a tickle. couch the change in a "because of the unacceptable fraud and scams that have crept into this site, for your safety we have no option but to do this etc.etc."
    Established breeders will quickly accept the system, and prospective owners will appreciate the security.
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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Nice idea Wynn but I will need to build a relationship with the breeders, I think. Or develop some good marketing material to prove why they should sell through us. It *is* something I've considered and I would love to ONLY list KUSA-registered pups on the site but it requires a lot more work than I'm doing now so I'll need a partner with time and sales-experience to do the sales and account management for our breeders.

    (If you know someone like that, get them in contact with me please. This business has massive potential due to the huge amount of traffic it receives!)
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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Under the CPA, would that system mean the customer in the case of a problem has legal recourse against you or the website? Getting in the middle of the buyer and breeder and charging a percentage could actually make you the seller in the eyes of the law.
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    Silver Member Norri's Avatar
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    Quite possibly! Good point, thanks AndyD for bringing that up.
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