Our moderator team would like to help all of our fantastic members stay as safe and informed as possible, because we do not want any of you to fall victim to a scam, hoax, or lie! This may seem like a lofty goal to achieve on the internet, where deceit is easy to employ. However, we have a couple of tips that may be helpful to keep in mind:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- If something makes you uncomfortable or seems "fishy," do not proceed (Trust your gut!).
- Exercise caution, especially in dealing with complete strangers over the internet.
- Do not give money or your personal identifying information to any individual whose business/product(s)/service(s)/intent(s) you cannot verify, or with whom you do not have a prior relationship.
- If a person is claiming to operate a legitimate business, ask for their business license information and research it.
- Ask for references. Better yet, ask someone you do know and trust for a referral.
- Beware of claims which contain a lot of hype and exaggerations, but few specific details.
- Ask questions. Fact check. If appropriate, seek the advice of a professional.
- Unless you are purchasing through a trusted vendor, avoid purchasing "sight unseen." Visit the birds/item for sale in person if that is an option. If it's not, ask to see photographs. Check the EXIF data of the photographs to ensure they are recent. Don't accept stock photographs.
- Don't count your chickens before they hatch: as tempting as it may be to "pay a deposit" to "reserve" a valuable item or bird before it is available, it is usually wiser to wait until the bird/item is actually available to make the purchase. This is especially true of a live animal which could become ill or possibly die during the waiting period. Don't let someone play on your fears of a missed opportunity!
- Never send money to someone who is pressuring you to "act fast."
- Never trust someone that tells you they need a partner "where you live" to help facilitate any transaction from overseas.
Please also help us continue to keep this forum as safe as possible by reporting any suspicious activity you may see by using the anonymous [!] Report Post feature (PMs can also be reported).
Just want to help you stay safe with a friendly reminder :0)