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Scam email - How to be sure without being impolite?

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  • Scam email - How to be sure without being impolite?

    When you receive an email inquiring about a horse of foal you have for sale... And the email is "borderline" weird. Like... it is not an evident scam attempt like the obvious : "hello my name is (put the name you want) and I have 3000$ ready the be wired for your HORSE that I like very much and want to have shipped in the best time possible" But something that at first reading, looks okayish. But not 100% sure...??

    Would you take the time to email like any regular email inquiry? Or would you ask some specific questions, to try to screen or "see" if the person is a real potential buyer... All that in a mannerly manner that won't look like an investigation that would scare the client??
    Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
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  • #2
    If you're not quite sure, I'd feel them out and continue to ask questions. An actual buyer shouldn't be put off.
    Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

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    • #3
      That's a scam - wanting to wire money and buy a horse sight unseen? That's the way they work -- they send money for you and the shipper and send too much and ask you to send them the difference back. Just ignore it.
      PennyG

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      • #4
        If the email is extremely similar to what you posted, it's a scam... If they are legit, the next email back should hopefully make more sense.

        Comment


        • #5
          I know what you mean -- I will participate in threads and discussions about the state of the English language (grammar/spelling) but to be honest I don't think that poor communication skills necessarily rule someone out for horse purchase! Or for any of the other myriad things that one can buy or inquire about.

          I emailed someone in response to a Craigslist hay ad. Here is the response I received: "Sounds great ummm lemmie know if you can squeek up to say 12-13 of each and we should be all set just gotta make sure we have what you want usually best to look at your hay and make sure we understand quality perameters" Needs to be visited by the punctuation fairy, for one thing -- and a bit hard to decipher. But do I need punctuation from a hay dealer? I don't think so. So I sure wouldn't rule someone out for unorthodox or erratic communications until/unless other warning bells, either related or unrelated, started to go off.
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
          Starman

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TKR View Post
            That's a scam - wanting to wire money and buy a horse sight unseen? That's the way they work -- they send money for you and the shipper and send too much and ask you to send them the difference back. Just ignore it.
            PennyG
            Originally posted by RobinL View Post
            If the email is extremely similar to what you posted, it's a scam... If they are legit, the next email back should hopefully make more sense.
            I believe OP was stating that the email in question was NOT obvious i.e. NOT similar to the buy horse unseen, wire money blah blah blah sort.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by alto View Post
              I believe OP was stating that the email in question was NOT obvious i.e. NOT similar to the buy horse unseen, wire money blah blah blah sort.
              I think this too
              Tack Cleaning/All-Things-Tack nut
              ~DQ wanna-be~

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              • #8
                I got one a few weeks ago off a free ad I had up (so notorious for scam e-mails) Like yours not the typical poor English, send me your final price etc. I was thinking probably 99% scam, but I'll respond and fish for more info. Turned out to be a serious, legit buyer. So I would say respond as it should not take long to respond, but ask a few questions that might bring out of they are legit quick
                Epona Farm
                Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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                • #9
                  just ask 'em a couple questions: "are you a scam?" [kidddddding!!!]

                  people do buy horses site unseen (including thru paypal) but usually ask seller for names of 3 vets in the seller's area, recommendations for shippers, etc. Your questions could be "are you working with a trainer?" "what type of riding do you do?" "will you need names of vets?"

                  In this market, we need to be responsive. I understand you my current bain are kids calling to buy the sire of future foals, of course, I'm polite but they cannot lease Baloubet du Rouet or Capone 1 or even Darco from me...

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                  • #10
                    Ask questions as you would with any buyer and always remain polite. I had a similar experience (emails made me wonder if I was dealing with a legit shopper) and it turned out the person was deaf.
                    Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                    Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Spike View Post
                      When you receive an email inquiring about a horse of foal you have for sale... And the email is "borderline" weird. Like... it is not an evident scam attempt like the obvious : "hello my name is (put the name you want) and I have 3000$ ready the be wired for your HORSE that I like very much and want to have shipped in the best time possible" But something that at first reading, looks okayish. But not 100% sure...??

                      Would you take the time to email like any regular email inquiry? Or would you ask some specific questions, to try to screen or "see" if the person is a real potential buyer... All that in a mannerly manner that won't look like an investigation that would scare the client??
                      I have dealt with lots of spam and scams over the years, but had a very interesting experience two years ago. The client sent an e-mail similar to yours, after inquiring about a particular horse. At that point, I thought it was a scam and sent back a very angry e-mail (basically telling him that I knew it was a scam and if he continued to e-mail me I would report him). Well, he immediately e-mailed me back that it was not a scam and called both my home and my cell to talk to me! He was from Mexico (did not have a checking account and wanted to wire the money). I am so glad that he called and I followed up (very apologetic, of course!). He was extremely understanding, and now he owns a wonderful dressage prospect that he purchased from me for his daughter and started under saddle last year.

                      I guess it is always better to be safe than sorry, and to stay cool (instead of getting irritated, as I was).
                      Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
                      Standing Stellar TVR, 2013 N.A. Stallion Testing/lifetime licensed WE, RPSI, AWS, AHR
                      www.newhorizonshaflingers.com

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                      • #12
                        It always gives it away as spam when they use pronouns and not similar verbage you used in your sale ad, or when they ask for the price and photos-even when that information is in the ad to which they are supposedly responding.

                        what I do is when I see them asking what the price is, I respong politely saying the horse or tack is still available, and the price is X. I make the price X infinitely higher than what my ad said it was.

                        If I get a reply saying 'ok the price is acceptable to me' then I know it's a scam. If it was a real person who read my ad and then saw the price doubled, they would most likely question it...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have received emails which read similar to those from scammers, but were legit. In some cases, English isn't the person's first language, so you get that odd sort of wording or sentence structure. I would continue the conversation politely and try to get a better feel for the person. If they are a scammer, it should become obvious pretty quickly. You can also try researching their name or any other information they may have given (e-mail address, phone number, etc). In my case above, the emails were from an individual claiming to work for a certain company that I had never heard of. Via Google I was able to verify that it was a real company and that person did work there.
                          Flickr

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                          • #14
                            No harm in feeling it out. You'll know pretty quickly if it's a legitimate inquiry. Just don't wire any money!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I can assure you that is a scam. Just had a warning here about online classifieds consisting of as high as 40% being scams. You get to spot them after a while, but not before people have fallen for them and the scamsters have made a killing

                              To be perfectly honest, I usually ask the person to give me a call if they're serious about purchasing. If they are they do, if they're not they don't. Since almost all information is available on one's website and FB page, it makes more sense to have any important discussions and to get an idea of whom you're dealing with, by actually speaking to them.
                              Visit us on FB : ~ http://www.facebook.com/Leopard.Rock.Appaloosa.Stud
                              Breeders of the JG Wap line of Appaloosa Sport Horses

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                              • #16
                                Check the email address. A lot of scam emails look like they came from one address and when you respond it's going to a different one.

                                Check to be sure that they emailed you. Sometimes the "to" field will be blank or have someone else's address.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Spike View Post
                                  When you receive an email inquiring about a horse of foal you have for sale... And the email is "borderline" weird. Like... it is not an evident scam attempt like the obvious : "hello my name is (put the name you want) and I have 3000$ ready the be wired for your HORSE that I like very much and want to have shipped in the best time possible" But something that at first reading, looks okayish. But not 100% sure...??

                                  Would you take the time to email like any regular email inquiry? Or would you ask some specific questions, to try to screen or "see" if the person is a real potential buyer... All that in a mannerly manner that won't look like an investigation that would scare the client??
                                  For borderline ads I ask an open ended question like "what would you like to know about the horse?". Takes little of your time, isn't rude. I have often found iffy ads replys are written by kids. Sometimes they truly ARE looking for a ponyclub/4H horse, sometime mom or trainer has no idea what they are up to. ..IE the kid is in fact taking riding lessons and is ready to buy a horse but the kid is answering my ad for "green broke warmblood" and trainer knows kid needs "dead broke pony or small horse".
                                  Providence Farm
                                  http://providencefarmpintos.blogspot.com/

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