Tips to Avoid Scammers (and Thwart Spammers)

In the past 24 hours there was an incident of mass spamming on the app. Your Awesome Experience Team worked hard and fast to resolve the issue, so thanks to all who reported the suspicious messages/bogus giveaway offers that temporarily invaded the marketplace.

As we noted on the blog yesterday, our Terms of Use are designed to ensure a safe, secure marketplace. Whether buying or selling, scammers pose a real threat. There are, however, five simple steps that can thwart spammers, stop scammers, and keep our marketplace  safe and secure.

On Your Side

1. Never commit to buying an item before you see it in person

Before you commit to purchasing an item, make sure you look it over carefully, in person. This will ensure you do not end up with an item that is broken or defective, or that does not reflect accurately the description. Research the market value of the item in advance so you can be prepared for possible negotiations.

2. Always verify the identity of the seller/buyer

Make sure you are dealing with a legitimate person by verifying the identity of the buyer or the seller. We triple verify 5miles users, and allow for peer-to-peer ratings and reviews for your information. Be aware and trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t.

3. Limit the amount of personal information disclosed

Never include any personal information in your product listing. When negotiating a purchase, never provide more information than necessary; your first name and phone number should be enough. You also can use Google Voice to create a free, disposable phone number for additional protection.

4. Always meet in a public place

When buying or selling, always meet in a public place such as a coffee shop, the parking lot of a supermarket, or even your local police station. If it’s necessary to invite the buyer into your home to see larger items such as furniture, move the item to the garage or front, if possible, and make sure you are not home alone. Likewise, if you are a buyer, always bring someone with you if it’s necessary to go into the seller’s home.

5. Deal only with cash

Cash is the only secure method of payment. Fake checks and money orders are all too common, and cashing them could result in the bank holding you accountable. Wire transfers and gift cards also are a red flag. Make payments securely by insisting on cash.

Again, along with feedback ratings, 5miles users verify their identity by phone and via Facebook, so buyers and sellers can shop confidently, knowing they are dealing with a real person. 5miles also has an internal messaging system, so contact information is kept confidential.

And, unlike most marketplaces, 5miles has an Awesome Experience Team, which is dedicated customer service and support, working around the clock to review every item posted on 5miles, ensuring each and every one meets our high standards so you can buy or transact worry-free.

Stay vigilant, 5milers.


Tips to Avoid Scammers (and Thwart Spammers)
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6 thoughts on “Tips to Avoid Scammers (and Thwart Spammers)

  • July 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Watch out for spam message with name MARION KNOX. I have gotten multiple hits with “do you still have” and “what is your address”.
    There is no picture and no buyer info, the new spam seems to hit new items posted and usually hits from noon to early afternoon.
    I replied to the first one and there was never any response.
    This is just a scam looking for your address where your item might be located or other personal info

    • July 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Ken. As always please email in the event of any potential spam or scam you may come across. Let’s maintain the integrity of the marketplace together.

  • August 18, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    There’s a lady who wanted to buy something from me she said she’s in the hospital she was going to have the doctor send me a money order which I never received how do theses scammers get on these sites I forget her name Scammers STAY OFF THIS SITE IF I GET A SCAMMER I WILL REPORT THEM TO U RIGHT AWAY

    • August 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      You have the right mind set! Report them right away to keep as many of these people off the site as possible. It’s always best to deal in cash and in person at a very public place. This way you can count the money and be surrounded by people should anything happen.

  • October 13, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    This new app face page is the hardest thing to get to open up. I have to try over 5 times to get it to finally open. What is going on?

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