Protect yourself from scammers

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Below are some useful tips to help you in your quest to avoid falling victim to a scam.

Tips and tricks on avoiding scams

Be aware of simple and single page sites

Scammers do not usually build complicated systems websites, they only want one thing only: your money, and quickly.

Be aware of sites that do not have a feedback system or forum for comments

Not all sites without these are scammers, but it is a warning flag.

Be aware of sites that make outrageous claims

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Useful hint: There is no flaw in bitcoin that allows you to multiply them 100x ;)

Ask about a sites reputation in Forums / Boards / Chans

Always research a site thoroughly before trusting it with your own money.

Be aware of sites that can only be contacted using an email address

Never use your personal email or any email address that can be linked to your real identity.

Beware of sites that say Most Trusted Service or Old Vendor

This is usually a warning sign that it can not be trusted.

Be aware of sites require you to email the seller directly or offers that will not use an escrow or marketplace

Escrow is your friend. Use it!

Beware of escrow services

Often, in order to gain your trust, swindlers will create third party escrow services that they control. Stick to confirmed clearnet escrow services such as:

Beware of new sites

Sites without a proven reputation pose a high risk of being out to get your money.

Check reddit for reviews

reddit review

Google the site's URL and scam in the same query

This usually produces reliable results regarding a sites reputation.

Treat all sites as scams until you research them!

This is the number one rule on Tor. Think of it this, just like how in the US where you are considered innocent until proven guilty, all sites on Tor should be considered scam until proven valid.

Be aware of sites selling PayPal and Credit Cards

Paypals can be found on the deepweb in the markets. They are hard to cash out, which is why they are sold. Vendors get more money selling Paypal Accounts than attempting to cash it themselves. Credit Cards are a rare find. They are easy to cash out, so there is no incentive to sell.

Vendor selectively ignoring questions

Scammers will often selectively ignore questions that will not help them scam you, like questions about Escrow or "Why should I trust you?". Although, the bigger scammers will often operate their own bogus escrow, so escrow is not proof they are legitimate either.

Use Escrow, and always check for Bogus Escrows

Properly run escrows will allow you to keep your money if the vendor is a scammer by having a trusted third party hold the money until the transaction is complete. However, oftentimes the larger scammers also operate their own bogus escrow which offers no protection. Always check for Bogus Escrows and scams

See also