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The Voucher Buyers’ Handbook: Read This Guide if You Want to Avoid Scam - Ever!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Ausdrez, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. #1
    I've never thought I would have to write something like a "Scammer Busting Guide". I have been going through all the previous and ongoing scamming issues from long ago. I was hoping that people who dig into business and internet are smart enough to use the freedom given here at Digital Point forums in a rather rational way. However, it turns out that there are people out there that do not understand a very simple rule: Don't shit where you eat. Pardon my French...

    Recently, there has been a great increment in number of scammers here in the Voucher section of DP. I am astonished to see that how they seem to be swarming around. Every now and then, we have to hear someone buying (even some experienced members) a few Adwords or Facebook vouchers, just to get scammed later. (Recent horror stories can be found here, here, here, and here.)

    The worst part of this is, that after getting scammed, even the Moderators or Admins here are unable to help you. They just practically can't. It's the buyer's own responsibility to be aware and informative enough so that nobody can ever scam him. So, To contribute to community, I have decided to research and finally prepare this full and detailed guide to help both the new and experienced buyers.Let’s walk the talk, here we go. I start with a greatest myth busting:


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    Part I - High Itrader Numbers Are Guarantee of Getting Genuine Voucher Coupon Codes – WRONG!
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    This is the biggest trap that peoples get into. Just a few fancy numbers next to the username doesn’t assure of you not getting scammed – not at all. Itrader does help but only upon using wisely. Let me tell you why and what of this:

    1. Look The Original Itrader Voucher Thread: Many times, the thread reveals many things about the trader. If there are negative comments or remarks in the thread, despite of good itrader ratings - you should be cautious.

    2. Itrader Dates: It is very important to look itrader timing. Many times, a person with good itraders, who is inactive for a few months may probably has his ID hacked or even sold to someone else. In that case, another person may just use his ID and take benefit of his high itrader count. So, always make sure the itrader ratings are recent and regular. (Reference thread. This guy had around 19 itraders but had not done any deal in past 1 year – ultimately, peoples screamed scam.)

    3. Itrader Distribution: Another thing to note is from how many DIFFERENT peoples the person has got itraders from. It has also been noted that a few friends create a group of 3-4 peoples and exchange the itraders between them. So, it would be best to look whether same persons have submitted itrader to the seller or different, unique persons.

    4. Itrader Comments: It also worth noting what kind of comments the person gets. An explanative comment like “I bought adwords vouchers and all of them worked” is rather good indicator instead of some generic “good A ++”.

    5. Itrader Types: Sometimes, a person should also be seen as either “buyer” or “seller” overall. It is possible that someone has 50 itraders, but all of them are as buyers and this is his first time for selling anything. So, it also can make a difference.


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    Part II - Tips To Reveal A Scammer Just By Looking His DP Profile
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    Although, nobody can be judged 100% right upon having just a glance but yes, if you make sure of a few things always, you will eliminate 90% chances of getting scammed. From next time, always look these things of any seller before proceeding to any deal with him.

    1. Above mentioned Itrader Things: Apart from the things mentioned above (if you want the numbers only). Although it is good to have as high itrader number as possible, the minimum should be 10 and as close as possible to 100%. I am not saying that all sellers below 10 itraders are scammers but anything below 10, and you should start making completely sure him.

    2. Joining Date: Another biggest factor that can be deciding is a joining date of a seller on DP. The older, the better but the bare minimum should be 1 month. Since many scammers create new IDs and keep scamming more peoples. So, along with itrader, a seller’s joining period also should be treated.

    3. Post Count: A higher post count means the seller is kind of active in community. You may eventually clash with a seller a two years old joining date but only 25 posts and no itrader. Beware; it may be a case of ID selling. If a person is 2 years old on DP, shouldn’t he naturally do some posting here and there?

    4. Seller Type: Is he a regular voucher seller or just a temporary? How many different kind of vouchers does he deal? New sellers, who just have started selling the vouchers, may have a little troubles in understanding and fulfilling the buyers’ requirements hence a regular voucher seller, dealing with different kind of vouchers (Adwords, Facebook, Yahoo etc) has better chances of doing all things smoothly instead of someone who just got his hands on the voucher selling for the first time.

    5. Seller’s Threads and Posts: Finally, You can also look for the sellers’ started threads and posts. If you are good in grasping, a person’s whole nature, personality, attitude and way of doing things can be judged right from his words.


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    Part III - Real Examples and Case Studies of Most Common Voucher Scammers Tricks:
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    In this part, you will know the common signs and tricks of scammers that they imply to scam the peoples and trap them for their scam deal. If you will be aware and watch out these things, there are 99% chances that you will be safe from all scam deals. Know, what tricks are they:

    1. Too Good To Be True Pricing: And old saying is “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. This is the most common trick used by scammers. They provide such pricing that isn’t even remotely possible. For example, a $100 adwords voucher have a standard price of anywhere from $12 to $20, depends upon the expiry. (Most “free” vouchers that have been gathered by “Tricks” have a little expiry date – say 7 or 10 days while the paid ones have at least of 3 months – some evey as high as 2 years). So, anyone newcomer selling them for un-believable el-cheapo prices, is an outright scam. Ok, just a matter of common sense, when the standard medium price for these vouchers is $15 and peoples from everywhere (DP, Other webmaster forums, even Ebay - one just creates a $15 thread and can get a lot of hungry buyers) buy $100 vouchers at $15 very happily and without any problem, why would one sell for any less than it when he already can get the buyers at that price? Why would someone will cut his own profit when there isn't any need? Phish!
    (Great - What a brilliant example of scamming and confidently accepting. My salute)


    2. Unbelievable Quantity And Insisting On Bulk: Some scammers also speak about quantity that seems to be hard at a first glance. Like 500 vouchers and using words such as bulk deal only and so. Believe me, it’s not that easy to get those vouchers and getting 500 at once is really something shady and requires special attention. (MINUS 4 itrader feedback - WOW)

    3. Non Existent Denomination aka RARE: Another trick used by scammers. They provide such vouchers values that even yet generated ever. For example, Adwords vouchers have the highest denomination of 125 USD/Euro. Even in that, above 100 ones are even not that common. So it can safely be said, that 100 is the highest “common” value of adwords voucher. Same goes with Facebook - $50 being the most common and $100 maximum. So anyone offering incredibly high voucher amount such as $200, $500 or $1000 is again outright scam. You should be aware of it as there no such vouchers in the world with these values. (Example Here, Got Banned)

    4. Vouchers For Old Accounts/Multiple Vouchers Per Account: So far, I haven’t seen any advertising voucher, be it Adwords, Facebook or anything that can be used for old accounts or more than one voucher can be redeemed per account. Generally, all vouchers can only be used on accounts not older than 14 days and only one coupon per account is redeemable. If you are buying vouchers, you should be informed of this. However, a scammer may say opposite of this. If you see any such thing, make sure to investigate it properly before jumping in.(Another Example, Got Banned Already)


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    Part IV - The 4 Kinds of Voucher Scamming: Know The Truths Behind Them
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    Here are the details of all common ways peoples get scammed in terms of voucher buying, with their possible reasons. If you have bought vouchers from someone and they don’t work, it will be one of these things, to explain:

    1. Bogus Voucher: The common thing. The voucher code is no valid in any means. The scammer didn’t have real vouchers and he just supplied some “hand-made” codes.

    2. Redeemed Vouchers: This occurs when the voucher has already been redeemed. It usually happens because of seller’s greed. When his stock gets end but he still keep getting orders, he couldn’t control himself and instead of denying the orders, sell the same voucher codes to someone else that has already been sold.

    3. Expired Vouchers: This occurs when the expiry date of vouchers had been passed. It usually happens with the “Free gathering” vouchers since they have the expiry date of only 7-10 days, sometimes as low as 3 days. So good chances are that the expiry date passed in the process of buying and selling.

    4. No Vouchers At All: The last kind of scam! Providing no vouchers at all, followed by not communication too. You send the payments, but seller doesn’t send anything, no voucher, no response, no PM, nothing.


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    Final Part V - Final Things To Ask Before A Coupon Deal
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    SEMrush
    Here are some final things to ask to any voucher seller if you are suspected or have any doubt about him:

    1. Ask Him For A Test Voucher Delivery First: If you have a good itrader and reputation yourself and the seller hasn't, you can ask for a test voucher.

    2. Full Or Part Payment After Redeeming The Vouchers: If the seller look un-trustworthy and you are a reputable member than him, then you can try to offer the payments after redeeming the voucher successfully.

    3. Payment Methods: Another nice factor to determine the things. Most of the scammers will accept only one or two payment methods, like Liberty Reserve or Moneybookers only. For your information, these are the payment methods where you can’t initiate any dispute or chargeback and if someone runs with your money, there isn’t anything you can do to get your money backk. Unlike Paypal or Alertpay, where you can raise a dispute in case of any problem. If the seller doesn’t offer Alertpay and Paypal (even after being Paypal the most popular method) ask him that why is he only insisting on those methods?

    4. Currency Calculation: Make sure to ask the seller about the original currency of the voucher. A 50 Euro voucher may have the value $75 at a time, but after a few days when currency value gets changed, it may get be low as $60. So, make sure what the actual currency of the voucher is.

    5. Worldwide: And the final thing to ask from the seller would be the working territory. Since many vouchers work only in a specified territory, say US or Canada, a genuine seller must state this in his thread. If he hasn’t, then clear this with him before dealing.

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    The goal of this guide is to make the voucher buyers here informed so that we get to see less and less scamming activities and hopefully someday, completely vanished. All the information here is totally written by me and based upon my own experience of being a part of the industry and watching out all the scamming activities going on here in DP. It has taken a lot of research, time and work for me to prepare this thread because I really felt the need of such a guide. If you did like it, please let me know; your comments are welcome. :)

    Feel free to also add any more tips you may have. We are committed to make DP a better and Scamming free place - every contribution will do something good. So, don't hesitate if you have any such good tips to save buyers/sellers from any scam. Sharing is caring - weeding the scam. No more "This Adwords Voucher Is Invalid" Message :)

    PS: What I also feel that this topic can also be made sticky in "Vouchers" section. Mods, feel the same way? Something Else?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
    Ausdrez, Dec 17, 2010 IP
    Mightee and Disguised like this.
    SEMrush
  2. gilly24

    gilly24 Peon

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    #2
    Excellent post. Should be stickied. Only problem i see is that scammers might read this and get smarter.
     
    gilly24, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  3. johnnyfu829

    johnnyfu829 Peon

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    #3
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
    johnnyfu829, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  4. irockdworld

    irockdworld Active Member

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    #4
    Awesome post man +rep

    Shud be sticky..

    BTW really hurt to see lots Indians scamming here
     
    irockdworld, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  5. smssolution

    smssolution Member

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    #5
    "3. Non Existent Denomination aka RARE: Another trick used by scammers. They provide such vouchers values that even yet generated ever. For example, Adwords vouchers have the highest denomination of 125 USD/Euro. Even in that, above 100 ones are even not that common. So it can safely be said, that 100 is the highest “common” value of adwords voucher. Same goes with Facebook - $50 being the most common and $100 maximum. So anyone offering incredibly high voucher amount such as $200, $500 or $1000 is again outright scam. You should be aware of it as there no such vouchers in the world with these values. "

    Nice post and kinda usefull because I also got scammed when I was buyer here,anyways but I would like to gather your attention on 125usd/euro voucher---I have myself tried and used 125$ which is 100 Euro voucher,it exist and works well
    Also highest value voucher of google is 305 euro which is combiation of few vouchers that can be added into single account,if you dont belive me search on ebay and my profile would have many satisfied buyers for the same.That exisist a well.
    Facebook also has 180$ which is combnation of voucher and can be added to single account,personaly used it.

    Rest of points I readily agree with you and are correct.
    Nice post :)
     
    smssolution, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  6. Ausdrez

    Ausdrez Well-Known Member

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    #6
    Thanks all for the words of appreciation and reps. :)

    @Gilly
    Scammers usually ain't very fond of reading lengthy topics thoroughly. They just want to make quick bucks. So, we don't have much risks of scammers getting alerted. Still, I will keep updating the guide from time to time.

    @johnnyfu
    Great job of catching more scammers! I wish, all buyers here do research like you.

    @irockdworld
    Although we can't connect a particular country with high scamming activities but unfortunately, I have to be agree with you here. You are right on money, most of the scammers here are from India itself and it's a shame on name of this great country. Possibly, because of the socio-economical status of an average Indian that they are usually much attracted to making quick bucks without going through much hassles of getting genuine things, client satisfaction than their western counterparts. Statistically, more than 90% scams done here were involved Indians (Sad, but true fact - Recent example is johnny's above post). So yes, upon seeing an Indian without much rep/itrader/joining date and selling something unbelievable, think twice before proceeding to deal.

    @smssolution
    Pardon me buddy, I don't intend to offend you in any manner but to me, the "Personal Experience" of a member with Zero itrader, 53 posts and less than 3 months of joining date doesn't satisfy the peoples to get agreed. A few days ago, an Indian tried to scam with the same deal, $305 vouchers and got banned due to these things (stated already in the guide). So unfortunately, I can't suggest anyone to take your personal experience in account, not at least now. I guess, you understand it. It's my personal opinion though. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
    Ausdrez, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  7. irockdworld

    irockdworld Active Member

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    #7

    Being an Indian i cannot say that the socio-economic conditions are too bad.... but yeah it is bad....

    This doesnt mean to scam innocent people right ?
     
    irockdworld, Dec 17, 2010 IP
  8. smssolution

    smssolution Member

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    #8
    @Ausdrez
    I just want to convey all that the highest google voucher of 305euri exist.
    It is not related to I am selling or some one else selling,if some one having good itrade is selling so people can buy it.
    Otherwise your guide is superb and quit usefull.
     
    smssolution, Dec 18, 2010 IP
  9. Ausdrez

    Ausdrez Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Yep, absolutely. Ideally, it shouldn't. However as they were your own words that lots Indians scam here. It hurts me too. :(

    @smssolution
    Nothing personal in this mate. I just expressed what I thought personally. Anyways, thanks for your neutral appreciation of the guide. :)
     
    Ausdrez, Dec 18, 2010 IP
  10. Veggie1232

    Veggie1232 Active Member

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    #10
    Good words of advice!! I agree this would make a pretty good sticky! but shouldn't it be in the Vouchers section of the forum?
     
    Veggie1232, Dec 19, 2010 IP
  11. faysal9

    faysal9 Active Member

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    #11
    Great share. lovely tutorial
    Thanks very much. i'll be careful
     
    faysal9, Dec 19, 2010 IP
  12. ramakazi

    ramakazi Well-Known Member

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    #12
    good man! Sticky this immediately! +reps added!
     
    ramakazi, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  13. homeworker11

    homeworker11 Banned

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    #13
    A very well prepared guide, Ausdrez!
    I request mods to please sticky this thread so that everybody sees this as this is really useful for buyers in "vouchers" section!

    Thanks for this quality information, Ausdrez!
    Cheers.
     
    homeworker11, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  14. Anil Pandey

    Anil Pandey Active Member

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    #14
    Buying or selling vouchers is something I have stayed away from, and may do so (rather than searching for one odd codes for few purchases). Over all the guide is very well researched and nicely presented. However, would like to point out a few issues where too much generalizations have been made.
    iTrader distribution could be an issue worth looking into as the possibility of members making a cartel for you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-yours always exist, but is it not the human tendency to always approach those whom you do know, or have made business transactions in the past! For example, if I wanted to get a quality article written that would pass muster with EZA, will I not approach a seller who had already written an article for me in the past, submitted and successfully approved at EZA? At least I surely would, and am sure most would do. It is practically very difficult to keep verifying people repeatedly by sending mails and PMs, an infructous expenditure in terms of time, and efforts. It is better to stick with those who you have interacted with, and are known to have delivered as promised. Though it should be looked into, this fact should not be totally negated.

    DP forum is one of the most visited IM forums, a lot of people come here to take advice, interact with people, or just plain read various threads (like me). Does it mean that unless they are able to get 10iTraders, they will not be considered reliable? Or anybody having more itraders is reliable and will not scam. The issue is, how do you cross the 10itrader mark if you do not sell anything? I feel it shows all below 10 feedback members in poor light, though you did say that "not saying that all sellers below 10 itraders are scammers". I think the damage has been done. If you take a look at the feedback score of the currently 56,000 active members, the largest member base would belong to this group, forming the bulk of this forum.

    Have you come across any sale? Take a look at the search results for "End Season Sale"
    People are selling for as low as 70% discount, going up to 90% discount
    What does it imply? Simply that at times people may sell products at throw away prices, when they are either short of time, or the product is expiring, or they badly need money.
    I will share my personal experience. In 2001, I had the crazy idea that I could be an entrepreneur by purchasing ready made garments from huge markets and sell them to my local town for profit. I took a loan and purchased $1000 worth of ready made garments. I brought it but when tried selling it (it took a lot of courage) no shopkeeper was ready to buy it. Did manage to sell a few things to colleagues but nothing fancy (maybe got 5% of my investment). Finally handed over the remaining items to a shopkeeper with a list of items and my cellphone no. I am yet to get any call from him.

    I am just trying to convey that anybody selling in bulk or a throw away prices may not be scammer.

    Who will pay for that voucher, it surely can't be sold again.

    You seem to have totally ignored him, not due to a flaw in his reasoning, but due to the simple reason of his low count. If you wanted to counter him, you could have stated if he was telling the truth or false.
    Does everybody who has a low post count not worthy enough to deserve a hearing, is it that a large post count or itrader makes you always more knowledgeable. I'm sure you can find dozens of single line comments. And what he is new to this forum, but not new to some other forum or IM in general. Suppose a member with 1000+ posts, considered reliable here, registers himself at some other forum. Does it mean that whatever he would convey would be trash, not worth taking a look. Again, a too general statement.

    People the world over live in different times. At one place the year 2010 is ending, at some other place it could be 1990 (not literally). The application of technology and socio-backgrounds differ from place to place. At one place paying your grocery bill with debit or credit card could be the norm, at others you would become laughing stock. Members come from different age groups, backgrounds and financial standing. A single statement can not be applied to all, there are so many factors to be considered.

    Ultimately, doing the necessary research is responsibility of the buyer, and he should try to find out whatever he can about the seller. I don't think the Mods can do much, other than permanently banning the buyer in case of proved scams.

    The OP deserves a special praise to have put in efforts to bring out the guide for the benefit of members, not all of them being capable to look through the smokescreen
    I am also of the view that this thread should be made sticky, so that current and future members can continue to benefit from it, though I personally feel that this suggestion should have come from the members, or the Mods, rather than the OP himself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
    Anil Pandey, Dec 20, 2010 IP
  15. Ausdrez

    Ausdrez Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Thanks all for appreciating,

    @Anil,
    I would really like to praise you for your detailed inspection of some of the points mentioned in the guide. In fact, you are the first one I couldn't agree more with. Yes, I accept that some of the points you commented on, may have flaw in it but that was the best I could come up with. Well basically, it's not the matter of trusting the low itraders, low post or low prices but it's the matter of "common" happening and most seen things. It has been noted that most of the scams have been done by below 10 itraders - but what about the the rest ones who still had low counts but didn't scam? Even I reached the itraders one-by-one. So, it is like that if you have two choices to select from a seller with 2 itraders and a seller with 200 itraders, the choice should be obvious. And also, they ain't hard rules, but rather an indicative set of instructions to possibly help avoiding the scams. I really appreciate you taking the time and providing the in-depth commenting, that definitely will help me with future things like this.

    And yes, I agree with you here too that sticky request should be made by others but believe me, I haven't requested it because of it's my topic - but I sincerely felt it could help the community. And if no one else is taking action, who else should apart from the thread author?
     
    Ausdrez, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  16. Anil Pandey

    Anil Pandey Active Member

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    #16
    Actually low post or low itraders, though an important consideration, should not be the most deciding factor. I, for one, am not very active. The primary reason is I do not want to get into those one line comments (also because I would like to avoid infractions, not that I haven't got any). It surely should not mean that whatever I say should be discarded for this reason alone, or that my maturity or knowledge is in anyway less to others (not that I am some rocket scientist, am just the-next-door-guy). This was my reason to refer to the point raised by smssolution. His view point was shot down not for accuracy, but for post count. It just followed the logic that if I don't know something, then it does not exist at all. If he was wrong (I don't say that he is because, as brought out at the outset I never dealt with vouchers), he should have been told so, backed up with facts.

    Yes, I agree that if I have to choose between a 2 itrader and 200 itrader, like everybody else I'd also choose the 200 one. But will I be right everytime? I don't know.

    We rise slowly; in age, in education, in maturity and off course in posts and feedback score. Let merit prevail, based on due diligence.
    As regards the issue of being made sticky, the members should raise the issue, or the Mods themselves. You say that since no member is taking action, then the author should himself. But why the need for the author to take action. After all, is not the guide for the benefit of members! In that case, should not the decision to take action should be left on them whether to make it sticky or not. Any member should have the right to decide what is best for him. Your taking up the matter simply implies that "Hey! This is what I feel is good for you. It is good because I say so." Or do you feel that members are not competent enough to decide that? And if the members are not knowledgeable enough, there are Mods to do that. Or you feel that even the Mods are not competent enough! Your other thread does suggest something of the sort.

    This is just my personal view.
     
    Anil Pandey, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  17. Ausdrez

    Ausdrez Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Yes, you personally are one of those rest of 10% who won't scam despite of the low itraders and such. You know, it's kind of a "Feel" and common sense that is responsibility of the buyer before the final decision. For example, if you would be selling vouchers (or anything for that matter) I would have no problem in buying from you despite whatever itrader count you have - by looking at your posts. However, if you were just be saying one liner "I ma saling handrad doler vauchar for .50 cents, only balk qwantiti" Then unfortunately, I don't have any other way to trust you apart from the rocket high itrader count.
     
    Ausdrez, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  18. Anil Pandey

    Anil Pandey Active Member

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    #18
    I agree with you here. And this is the point I had wanted to bring out all along; too many generalizations. There can never be a single stop solution when you deal with large no. of people. The world is full of so many people that giving any benchmark would not be appropriate; for one scammer there could be 9 honest people. This applies to every country. Sometimes even a child can point out something genuine, do we ignore it only because he is a child. No, we need to tell him why he is wrong if he is, and accept it if he is right.

    The best bet would be for the members to do at least some research, and not jump right away and hit the pay button. And yes, reviews by members should be considered favorably but some background research should be done in any case. I have seen member commenting favorably when it is not possible to do so. For example somebody selling product explaining a process to accomplish a task, like earning money, and members start giving Good Job type comments almost immediately where as it takes a long time to put a process in to effect and start seeing results. Anybody telling otherwise did not bother to even implement it.

    I also feel that the request for the thread being made sticky should have come either from the members, or the Mods, and not the author. Let us decide what is best for us. It may not be a good idea to fight for it, that too in such a blatant way.
     
    Anil Pandey, Dec 21, 2010 IP
  19. selladwords

    selladwords Peon

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    #19
    i hope the dp can bulid a trasction paltform like ebay,dp can receive the transction fee, maybe the scam will reduce.
     
    selladwords, Jan 2, 2011 IP
  20. aljurians

    aljurians Member

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    #20
    yes john that guy also P'm'ed me thats why resellers should avoid them..
     
    aljurians, Jan 12, 2011 IP