Hello to all Equine.com buyers and sellers. I
hope you're enjoying the holiday season and that 2003 brings you much success.
A very serious matter has come to our attention
and we feel it is our duty to inform our users regarding any type of
large-scale fraudulent activity that may be taking place related to this
industry. We strongly believe in educating everyone to create an environment
that is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller.
People selling horses are receiving buyer
inquiries from a third party regarding the purchase of a horse from a
potential buyer in Nigeria or Africa. This inquiry commonly attempts to
arrange the purchase of the horse with a cashiers check covering the price of
the horse and shipping. After the horse has been shipped, they commonly ask
you to refund the shipping charges as part of a "finders' fee"
Unfortunately, the cashier's check that is sent
is counterfeit. This fact is not uncovered until the horse and the finder's
fee have been forwarded to the scam artists.
To protect yourselves and others against
this type of activity, it is important to try and obtain as much information
about the buyer as possible. If you suspect the buyer may be involved in this
or similar scams, please forward any information you can obtain to the
following organizations: For U.S. complaints use the
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Complaint Form: https://rn.ftc.gov/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01
For Canadian Complaints contact the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police:
To help you in recognizing these types of
scams, we have provided below a list of indicators. They are only guidelines,
and as always, should be tempered with common sense.
- Big Promises Claims such as offering more
money than the asking price without an initial conversation regarding the
horse are almost always a sure sign of a scam. Be careful of any individual
who wants to send you more money than you are asking for.
- High Pressure Tactics Be wary of individuals
asking you to speed up the transaction beyond your comfort range. Again, a
legitimate deal probably isn't going to move as fast as your money. Don't let
yourself be pressured -- think things through.
- Requests for financial information. Don't
give out any bank information without establishing a comfort level with the
buyer or seller.
- Always get something in writing. You should
never complete a transaction without first writing down the terms of the deal
and have each party sign it. If you can't afford a lawyer to draft up a
contract, you still should write down the terms of the deal in plain English
and get it signed. Any buyer or seller that is hesitant or resists is usually
a sure sign of a potential problem.
- Remember the old saying, "If it sounds
to good to be true, it probably is."
I would like to thank you for helping us keep
our industry true by spreading the word about fraudulent buyers and sellers.
Equine.com is doing its part, so please help us by doing what you can too.
Best Wishes and Happy Holidays,
Aaron T. Bromagem President Equine.com