WARNING! - Scammer Alert

There have been a number of reports of attempts by a scammer(s) to extract money from advertisers on SMEX. The location of the scammer 'appears' to be the UK, but more likely Nigeria. They use a fake English sounding name, reply to your ad and then string you along in an email exchange with a variety of excuses, then ask for some money or banking details one way or another. They also commonly ask for money transfer via Western Union (Note: While Western Union is a genuine and reputable company, if the scammer specifies this method, then be very alert to a possible scam).

The typical mode of operation is they say they just tried to pay the money but can't unless you pay the agent fee or costs beforehand and then say they will include this money when they pay the full amount to you. Or "I am at sea and cannot get to a bank or Post Office" or similar. The scammer typically says that they will have an agent either pay you, or to inspect/pick up the items. If the reply suggests using an agent it is highly likely it is a scam. They also misuse or mis-spell words common to items typically sold thru SMEX, making it obvious they do not know what they are talking about.

If you see this sort of activity THIS IS A SCAM
DO NOT send any money or give out any financial details.

The name(s) used by the scammer(s) vary, and may change quickly. Known scammers include:

  • 'Sean Hankel' with email 'seanhankel04@gmail.com'

If you have any suspicions, just Google their name or email address.

This notice is placed in the public interest. And, as stated in the SMEX standard T&Cs, it is the buyer that usually pays any delivery or shipment fees, not the seller (and especially in advance)!


A Note re Scammers

Be very alert to scammers ! And never pay any money on the buyer's behalf or send your items without receiving your payment first, unless you are certain the transaction is legitimate, and especially if the buyer is overseas.

Scammers are unfortunately a fact of life the modern digital age, and there have been reports of scammers trying to extract money from advertisers on this site (both buyers and sellers). There is virtually nothing that can be done to prevent fraudulent replies to ads, they have and will continue to occur. But there are a few things that you can do to help avoid being scammed:

  • If you suspect a scammer, be thoughtful about what contact or banking or identity details you choose to include in your reponse to an inquiry.
  • Remember that your email address probably will be copied and added to someone's list. No email addresses or contact details are published (either on screen or behind the scenes) to prevent those nasty 'spam bots' trawling for addresses and automatically harvesting them, but this cannot stop a human manually harvesting addresses.
  • Just Google their name or email address to see if they have attempted to scam others. Their real location is likely to be Nigeria as some social network websites suggest.
  • Have your 'antenna' on high alert at all times for possible scams, and if anything doesn't seem quite right, ask some more questions, or just cease dealing with that person.
  • Never send any money, or give out your banking details, unless you are 100% sure it is a genuine transaction, and never part with your item in advance of you receiving your money.

Always be very alert to the possibilty of a scam, keep your wits about you and if in doubt about any payment - Don't!

And lastly, please report to SMEX any scammer activity you detect, and their name will be added to the list above.