The world has come a long was since searching the back of the paper for weekend garage sales, pulling out the UBD and planning the most efficient route to get to all the locations nice and early to scoop up a bargain. Some of you might not even know what a UBD is! You know Google Maps? Imagine that in an book the size of an encyclopaedia. Most of the time the street you want to go down is on another page which is actually 50 pages deeper in the book. Anyway, I digress.

There are so many platforms where you can browse items for sale such as; Gumtree, Carsales, Facebook Marketplace, the list goes on. They all have their own Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policies and even Posting Policies but there are always ads that slip through the cracks that are non-genuine. What I mean by non-genuine is either it contains incorrect or misleading information or the seller is trying to scam potential buyers out of money through a method of fraud.

Online consumer fraud in reports to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC’s) Scamwatch website in 2017 was more than $90m (ACCC 2018)

AIC Report – Online fraud victimisation in Australia: Risks and protective factors Research Report 2018
Catherine Emami, Russell G Smith and Penny Jorna

Despite the amount of warning and information out there, people are still being scammed out of money through fraudulent deals each and every day. Sometimes you will remain at a loss with no way to get your money back. Buyers aren’t the only ones being scammed either. Sellers have reported delivering or sending items without confirmation of payment and their payment never comes.

We have taken reasonable steps on the website to ensure the Privacy of our Users but when it comes to actually making the transactions and exchanging items, we are not at all involved. Buyers and sellers need to take all reasonable steps to ensure that both parties obtain what they are promised in the agreement of the sale.
We recommend meeting with sellers in person and inspecting the items you are purchasing before handing over any money. Take your time! Equipment isn’t cheap and it usually doesn’t come with a warranty so make sure you are happy with the item/s you are buying.

Given the small community that Skydiving is, there may be times where the gear that you want is in another state. Thankfully the community is also friendly and happy to help one another out. One idea is to reach out to a rigger or DZ where the seller frequents and politely request they inspect the gear for you. They may have an idea who the seller is and be able to provide you feedback on the gear or the seller.

If you aren’t paying with cash in person, there other online alternatives for payments such as OSKO or bank transfers or PayPal. Be weary as there have been reports of PayPal ‘reversal’ or ‘overpayment’ scams so we suggest doing some research before committing to your payment method.

However you choose to buy or sell your items, please remain vigilant and take all reasonable steps to sniff out a scam and report those who are dodgy.

Should you get caught up in a scam or you think you may have been, there are a couple of places you can go for information.

  1. Cybercrime – https://www.cyber.gov.au/report-and-recover/report
  2. ACCC Scamwatch – https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/