Common Sense Classified Advertising Awareness

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

Classified advertising online has experienced a steadily growing pace during the past decade. While millions of people have bought and sold items, bartered goods and services, and even made pet adoptions, taking precautionary measures when using online services is still a good practice. Just as you would look both ways before crossing a busy intersection, applying basic steps to assure the party you’re dealing with is legitimate, should not be discounted when using classified advertising websites.

Look before Crossing(photo: look before crossing for your safety and safety of others)

Community is great and growing trends of transparency online are really pushing forward levels of trust perhaps not seen before. It doesn’t matter if you are posting a chiropractic classified ad, or an advertisement on another website, we want to trust that the individuals we are engaging with online are genuine and well-intentioned. While I believe the majority of individuals using a particular site as a forum or classifieds exchange, generally tend to be honest and community minded, commonsense practices should not be thrown to the wind.

Last week I had a blog post regarding an e-mail sent to many people that had posted products for sale on our classified ad pages. We’ve covered posts like these numerous times before, and we’ve received many e-mails from users of other classified ad websites, saying thank you for alerting them to potential scams and fraudulent activities. Thanks to an e-mail received by a chiropractor using our classifieds, we were quickly notified that something was amiss, and questionable e-mails were being sent to some of those selling products online. It’s an unfortunate reminder that working towards keeping classified ad sites clean is never done. Today we received an e-mail that was unlike those seen in previous fraudulent attempts, but nonetheless raised suspicion from the person it was sent to, let’s take a look at that mailing.


I am impressed with the condition of the item and I hereby agree to pay the agreed price. The check payment for your item will hit the mail within the next 48hrs. Kindly provide the following information for *To whom and where the check should be mailed to in this order*

Full name , Address, Contact phone number and the Price.

Arrangement as been concluded with a shipping company that will come for the pick up upon your request after payment as been received. So the shipment and the cost should not be a worry to you. However, I want you to be informed that extra amount will be added on the check you will receive. This will cover the ship cost and the insurance as well.

Soon as the payment arrives.Deduct you item fee , send the extra to the shipping company ,packed the item ship ready and send me email for a pick up request.

Thank you for your cooperation

What was most interesting was the person selling the items online had not had any previous communication with this individual replying to their product for sale. Obviously an e-mail like the one above is a heads up, and a warning not to reply to the e-mail with the information that was requested, I can’t stress that enough. While the approach is different from this e-mail scam attempt or this fraudulent online purchasing attempt, it still contains the basic warning signs. It’s an unsolicited e-mail, there’s a request for money to be sent back to the buyer, there’s mention of using a shipping company or third party, and the spelling is questionable (although it’s better than many others I’ve seen).

Regardless if you’re using mega-popular classified ad sites like craigslist or eBay, or smaller niche classifieds sites like our chiropractic classifieds, always be alert to who you’re doing business with, and never hesitate to report fraudulent activity. While it may be time-consuming to report questionable activity, I know of no site administrator that doesn’t appreciate the efforts of those in the user community, who take proactive steps to improve online environments. @ 9:10 pm | Article ID: 1246335060