Avoiding Scams

At LookPrior, your safety is everything to us. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to educate our platform users on how to avoid scammers. Therefore, here are important guidelines for your safety. 

If you are buying:

  • Do not pay to anyone you have not met in person. Always meet the seller in person and in a public place like a mall or a coffee shop. 

  • Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.

  • Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

  • Only hand over the money once you are happy with the item or the service you are buying.

  • Always check and verify the item works/looks as you expected before paying. 

If you are selling:

  • Do not dispatch or deliver the item unless the buyer has committed some money. Always use an escrow service and avoid buyers who insist on using a cheque, PayFast, PayPal, Western Union, or MoneyGram. 

  • Avoid sharing your personal information like your ID, bank details, email address, credit card, or debit card details. 

  • Avoid buyers who seem willing to overpay, or do not show any signs of negotiating the price. 

  • Stick to the location agreed upon as much as possible since scammers like to meet sellers at unknown locations. 

  • If accepting a bank transfer, make sure you call your bank to check that the funds have cleared before handing over the item. 

Note that LookPrior is not in any position to handle or facilitate any exchange of money. Therefore, be careful when handing over the payment or merchandise. 

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

If you suspect that a LookPrior post may be connected to a scam, please send us the details.

United States

If you are defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department.

How To Recognize Scams Easily

Most online scam attempts involve one or all of the following:

  • Email or text message from a person purporting to be from your local area.

  • Vague inquiry or explanation about an item.

  • Refusal to meet face-to-face to complete a transaction.

Examples of Scams

  • A person purports that a transaction is guaranteed, and that a buyer or a seller is officially certified, or that a third party will handle or provide protection for the payment. 

  • Ideally, LookPrior transactions are between users online, and therefore such claims are often fraudulent. 

  • The scammer will often send the communication on an official-looking letterhead or email address that appears to be from the LookPrior email server or another third-party purporting to be acting on behalf of LookPrior.

  • Distance person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) Cashiers Check:

  • A good example is when you receive an email or a text message expressing interest in your item, or offering to pay for your service in advance, or rent your apartment yet sight is unseen or the person has not requested to test or see the item. 

  • A buyer sends a cashier check for your item to act as a deposit for an apartment or for your services. 

  • The value of the cashier’s check far exceeds the value of your item, and the scammer offers to trust you, and even promises to wire money via a transfer service. 

  • Note that banks may cash fake checks and hold you responsible when the check fails to clear, threatening to prosecute you

  • Scammers often pretend to involve a third party to ship the item or as a business associate. 

  • Price is below the average market value. Always check the market rate before bargaining

  • Scammers often target apartments, laptops, TVs, cell phones, tickets, and other items of high value.

  • A scammer may claim a confirmation code is required before he can withdraw the money.

  • Scammers often pretend to be unable to speak by phone and instead prefer a text message or email. 

  • Distant person offers to send you a cashier’s check or money order and then have you wire money. 

  • Distance seller suggests the use of an online escrow service.

  • Distance seller requests for partial payment upfront, after which they will ship the goods.