Online Roaster Scams, and tests to help spot them


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Oct 26, 2016
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These have been touched on here and there. I thought it might be nice to have a dedicated thread where people can continue to post links and activities of known scammers. Most of us are pretty good about not getting scammed but it can't hurt to build a general resource and list that will help everyone.

As always, if it "seems to good to be true", it could be. Here are a few tests that I use to check ads if I'm suspicious. Not just roasters but nearly anything on eBay, Craigslist, Asian sites, etc. These work really well for auto and pet scams too (bulldogs, parrots, etc).

1. Do an image search! See if it is widely used or owned by someone else
- right click on image and either download and save it or copy image URL
- Search on Google Images for either the image URL or Upload

IMO this is the single BEST thing to do right off the bat. Scammers rarely have their own images, regardless of product. Fortunately, they are too lazy and stupid to modify these stock images - so they almost always show up in a search.

And viola! That "Ambex" roaster is actually a photo of a Dongyi / Buckeye roaster. How convenient! LOL.

2. Grammar. Most scammers have pretty poor grammar. They just take Thai (or whatever) and plug it into Google translate, or have their "bi-lingual friend" write it up for them. In any case, if the grammar is off and they are supposed to be in the US, it's a big red flag.

3. Shipping forwarder, etc. Many scammers will try for some silly shipping forwarding scam. Just tell them, "no - I'll provide you with a 3rd party shipper who will verify the shipment and pay them directly for shipping and pay you when the shipment is verified". If they are legitimate they'll happily keep talking with you. Otherwise, they'll run.

4. Call their bluff. This is a great technique. I had one would-be scammer try and sell me a parrot with an adoption fee. I asked where they are located". They replied Cleveland so I said "GREAT! I'll actually be in your area next week - give me your address and I'll pick the bird up in person". You guessed it - I never heard from them again.

Known Scam Ads:
ec21 dot com ads (ambex, arizona, etc. - Thai Kheang

- company based in Thailand? MAJOR red flag. They don't build any roasters in Thailand
- Roaster is in Miami?! LOL! Sure it is ...
- Photos are definitely owned by other people - just do image search.
- Suspicious language in ad (i.e.: "Kansas upsets UNC for last Final Four slot Pope Benedict XVI. Pope arrives in Mexico to warm welcome"

I hope that this will help form the basis of a single thread that we just keep building on!