A Word of Caution for Donors & Recipients (Member Education Post #9)

One of the primary missions of the moderators of this group is to keep the Facebook group safe for those who wish to donate, and for the recipients too. 

In an attempt to do so, we quickly ban members who we find out to have taken advantage of other members’ generosity by re-selling items or by spamming the wall, or other such dishonest or rude behavior.  We also try our best to screen new members before they are added to the group.

We CAN and WILL miss some.  So, I want to warn you about the possibility of dishonest people in the group.

First of all, please inform the moderators as soon as possible, of anyone’s suspicious or alleged behavior.  We have a method for keeping track of ALL instances, including information about the accused Facebook profiles, and alleged/reported behavior.

If you have PROOF (such as someone reselling your donations within another group) take a screenshot and send it to us so we can ban them right away.  Or, if you can’t take a screen shot, at least shoot us a private message so we can keep it on record, ASAP.  If someone has two separate instances of alleged misbehavior in our group, or if we find out from other moderators from other groups that they have been accused there as well, we will ban the person, no questions asked, and report them to other group moderators as well.

A word of wisdom gained from other moderators from other groups, that I think is important to share here:   As a general safety precaution, it is not recommended to do online business with profiles such as the following:

New Facebook Profiles

Spammers and scammers sometimes create Facebook profiles solely for the purpose of cheating they system.  When they are caught, they simply delete the profile and create a new one.  You can tell when a person joined Facebook by scrolling down their profile (even if you’re not friends) and see when they joined.  Another quick way is to click their profile pic or cover photo and look at the date it was posted.

Nothing Personal - Too General in Nature

For example, they may have landscapes or cartoons for their profile pic and cover photo – these are sometimes profiles that have been created solely for the purpose of scamming or spamming groups such as ours.  Or they may just prefer to keep their real photos private for their friends only.  But it is recommended to use caution.

Something About Them Just Makes You Uncomfortable

Perhaps there is nothing on their profile that tells you anything about them, or they have such a general profile pic, cover photo, and everything is so hidden that you can’t tell anything about them at all.  I would highly recommend sending them a private message before doing business with them, and that may/may not make you a little more comfortable.  They may just be very cautious with the internet, and prefer their private information to remain private.  That is all well and good, however, I would still use caution.  It is ultimately up to you whether you trust them or not.

Fake Profile Picture

Did you know you can use Google to find out if someone’s profile picture is a fake?  Yep, you can.  (However, I tried this with my own profile pic and it didn’t work, just sayin.)

No Real Photos of the Items Offered

One common theme among scammers is the use of stock photos instead of actual photos of the items they're donating.  We're not saying everyone who uses a stock photo is automatically a scammer, but it's just another warning sign.  Be cautious when dealing with these folks.

Asking for Personal Information

It's obvious, people.  Just don't give out your bank information (don't send a personal check!), your credit card information, or your social security number.  Just don't.  Please, use some common sense.

Asking for Money Orders or Cash in the Mail

There are lots of scammers who ask you to pay them through snail mail.  Ok, so these folks may not be scammers, but simply prefer cash or checks, or truly do not understand how to use online payment methods such as Paypal.  Just be aware that it is common for scammers in groups such as ours to post lots of items all at once, and asking for payment through the mail.  Then they take the money or cash your check, and their package mysteriously gets lost in the mail or they just disappear from Facebook never to be seen again.  By the time they are found out and reported to the group moderators, 6-12 weeks has passed and they've scammed 20-50 people.  Don't let this happen to you.  If you send someone a check - you are taking your own risk.  We highly recommend the use of Paypal, which offers the buyer AND seller some protection.