At IYAN we have strived to make our site a safe and effective place to post free classified Ads. To this end, we make great efforts to protect our site and its users from spammy, deceptive or fraudulent content and we actively and continuously seek to improve our systems to prevent it. Part of that process is providing information to visitors and advertisers in order to educate them and enable them to identify Ads and content that might be a scam or fraudulent in some way. We encourage users to help moderate IYAN by reporting suspicious Ads or fraudulent activity using the "Report" button on the Ad page.
Remember - whilst fraud IS on the internet, most Ads and content on the internet and on trusted sites like IYAN are just fine and every day thousands of successful transactions happen without incident. Just a reasonable amount of knowledge and common sense can prevent most problems!
Fraudsteres are VERY adept at making you feel that somehow you are in the wrong or being overly cautious. They rely on your inate politeness to make you go against your instincts. If it's too good to be true - it probably is. If it's too difficult to say no to ... you really should. Here are the golden rules that will help keep you safe - DO NOT MAKE EXCEPTIONS!
ALWAYS Deal Locally and Meet
Only deal locally with people you meet in person. It can be both fun and reassuring for both parties. Remember fraudsters hate meeting people because that's how they get caught out.
NEVER Deal Abroad
If it becomes apparent that the buyer or seller is abroad - it is a scam. NEVER deal overseas. Cease any communication immediately and if this person is the author of an Ad on IYAN please report it. No matter how heart-breaking or plausible it may seem - you are being played.
ALWAYS Know Who You Are Dealing With
Fraudsters love email - they HATE talking to people on the phone or meeting them because that is how they get caught. One of the advantages of IYAN is that it is a LOCAL directory. The buyer and seller should live close by and be able to meet - use that advantage. Use the IYAN anonymous email system when communicating by email with potential buyers or sellers - never hand out your real email. Use the phone where possible. Distrust those who are reluctant to talk on the phone or where there is always a reason they can't meet up with you.
NEVER Provide Sensitive Information
Do not give out private, personal or sensitive information to anyone, especially over the internet or by email. In particular, credit card, bank details or online account details should never be asked for or provided. You should be immediately suspicious if this kind of information is requested. Questions should relate to the item or service offered and the identity and location of the parties. Be wary of filling out any forms which require sensitive information without having first verified who you are dealing with.
DEAL in Cash
This is the traditional method and is highly suitable for local transactions. Always try and deal in cash. Very little can go wrong once you have met the seller, inspected and verified the goods and then made payment with cash. If a credit or debit card payment is required, ensure that the seller is a reputable registered business or company.
NEVER Part With Goods Until Funds Have Cleared.
Verify with your bank that a cheque has cleared BEFORE parting with goods. Advise the buyer that goods will not be released until the funds have been cleared, no matter how long it takes. In the UK funds can be marked as cleared after 3 days BUT THAT IS NO GUARANTEE that the cheque will not be returned unpaid and the funds clawed back by the bank. Always wait at least 6 days after paying in the cheque and then ask your bank - EXPLICITLY - if they can confirm that the funds have actually been received and that it is safe to spend the money. If possible get them to confirm this in writing (particularly if it is a large sum).
NEVER Send or Wire Money to Sellers or Buyers
In particular, never use payment services like Western Union, Money Gram or UKash to pay for services or products on IYAN. These payment methods are a high fraud indicator - no-one who lives in the United Kingdom would require these methods of payment.
Meet and verify the goods. If buying a vehicle or some other big ticket item, get the details upfront and verify them as far as possible before meeting and cross check the details. After inspecting the goods and making the decision to purchase, we recommend taking a little time to verify the identity of the seller - in particular their name and address. Check that this correctly matches any documentation.
ALWAYS Check Documentation
Always request and double check documentation. If, for example, you are buying a car or a vehicle, it is worth investing in a car history check. There are normally ways of double checking information. For large ticket items these checks are vitally important.
NEVER Accept Overpayments
Do not accept a payment greater than the purchase price. It is certainly one variation or another of the "overpayment scam" and is a fraud. The payment(s) eventually turns out to be fraudulent. It can take banks WEEKS to discover the problem - and you will be required to refund it.
NEVER Send Money to Buyers or Their Agents
Do not send overpayments, commissions, refunds or shipping fees, even if you receive a cheque. Fake cheques and money orders are common, and banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered several weeks later.
NEVER Agree to Cash Cheques
Do not cash cheques for strangers - such a request is certainly fraudulent and you could end up in trouble with the law, as it is likely to be a money laundering scheme.
NEVER Deal With Third Parties
Deals where there is a "third party" is typically a variation of the "third party scam". The third party buyer scam is where a seller receives a call saying that the caller has a prospective buyer for your advert. They then claim a fee for selling the goods. Of course the buyer doesn't really exist and any commission sent is pocketed by the fraudsters.
BEWARE Links and Premium Rate Numbers
These are not permitted on IYAN and are a strong fraud indicator - often of a "bait and switch" scam. If a response through our email includes a link or a premium rate number (070,0800,0808.0844,0845,0870,0871 and 09 ) - often in a disguised form to get through our systems - it's a scam. These are usually accompanied with persuasive reasons why you should use them. DON'T. Cease any communication immediately and if this person is the author of an Ad on IYAN please report it.
BEWARE of Deflated Prices
Deflated prices may indicate that the goods may be stolen or are not of significant quality. Avoid any severely slashed price cuts.
REMEMBER - IYAN Does Not Offer Any Buyer Protection or Any Payment Programs
IYAN does not act as an intermediary between parties or make arrangements for any payments or transactions. Interactions between parties found on or through IYAN are solely between those parties and we do not get involved. So, if you are contacted by someone who claims to be from IYAN and you are asked to transfer money for an item advertised on IYAN, it is an invalid request and almost certainly a fraud. Please report such contacts to us immediately.