OK concerning scammers in general, but mainly overseas and Cameroon
Sometimes they offer goods as a carrot to gain access to your details Many scams come out of Cameroon and places nearby. Many of them involve getting some kind of detail from you - your address, your bank details from cheques and such-like. These can lead to fraud - identity theft in your name, or money being taken from your account. Please be aware. In one way the best thing that can happen to you is you loose a bit of money paying for none-existent paperwork or goods. The prosepct of identity theft or account theft is much worse.
Their phone number - best not ring it Beware of ringing phone numbers that they give. Some are set up to be of a very high charge indeed. You phone the number - and OUCH! There goes a big lump of money out of your pocket when the phone bill arrives.
Pictures. (This applies to any seller where you feel unsure - not just overseas) Some can provide pictures of the goods, but where from? Many people steal pictures from websites. Get your seller to take a photo of the snail, or what ever it is, next to an object of YOUR choosing, such as a spoon, a playing card, or a bit of paper with something specific written on it.
Their email address Try googling their email address - sometimes someone else has complained or reported it.
Do they care about the legalities? Try asking if they will post out to the USA (in the case of snails). If they say yes then remember it's illegal and the seller probably just doesn't care about ethics.
Thank you Ness for such really useful summary, and the smart countermeasures you suggest to adopt.
I must say, I too received the very same list Rosanna talked about, some 2-3 years ago in my email (perhaps taken by forums), although I never enquired back, as being already alerted by reading of similar cases, here and elsewhere (as in Bugnation).
Some "real" supplier from that world area seems to exist, as I read of people getting something from there. But such kind of proposal, as already stated by people much more experienced than me, sounds really like a deceiving one
this is somewhat related i guess, but i was just wondering if anybody has any knowledge about any existing laws about shipping live animals, especially to other countries, I figured there are some and i was wondering what they are and how much trouble someone could be getting themselves in, especially since many of these species aren't native :/
yes. but keep in mind those are also US laws. so anyone shipping into the US isn't really bound by them, but it can and does risk the life of the animal you ship, and there is risk to the person who 'accepts' the package being shipped to them.
thanks for the info but what about exporting internationally? ive done a little research and theres not much i can find but i think that there must be some sort of regulations on those :/
The thing is leila, people cant be done for what they dont know. depending on where your posting to, the post office may ask you to sign a declaration. If your sending snails or slugs and sign the relevent box their and then, the worse that can happen is that they say sorry we cant send the parcell. if however you you lie then theirs always the chance that the snails and slugs will be found and destroyed by customs. Many countries dont require you to sign a declaration and others its esensial. In england You only need to sign a declaration when sending to Austrailia, Austrailia however requres a signatured declaration upon sending to any other country than its own states. Not 100% sure what US regulations are but I know in Mexico they dont care where you send things out of the country because they know it wont affect their country personaly so they only make you sign declaration upon sending things to into another Mexican state. Best thing to do would just be to turn up on the day with the package at hand (or ask in advance) if they dont require a declaration to the contry your sending it to then you will not be in trouble if the slugs or snails are desoverd, the slugs and snails however may still be destroyed depending on the country that discovers them. Hope this helps
yes. but keep in mind those are also US laws. so anyone shipping into the US isn't really bound by them, but it can and does risk the life of the animal you ship, and there is risk to the person who 'accepts' the package being shipped to them. Are you saying people outside the US are not subject to their laws ? I don't think so cos you wrote "isn't really bound by them" ( could also have been "is really bound by them") instead of making a clear statement like IS NOT BOUND BY/ IS BOUND BY. Why bring in the grey area ? Are you saying people living in the US should use a drop box ( i.e. offering reward for use of other's postal address ) instead of their own real address ? Alongside the p**n and d**gs ? And if they use a drop box they are exempt from prosecution ? Hey ! Get real.
Here more snippet of bad advice : The thing is leila, people cant be done for what they dont know. Ignorance of the law is NO excuse for breaking the law. Ask any lawyer ! Not 100% sure what US regulations are but I know in Mexico they dont care where you send things out of the country Again written by somebody not sure, in the grey area, legal...............or not legal, but obviously ignorant of Mexican law.
I don't see what this kind of advice seeks to achieve ? Was not so long ago we lost WOLF on the Forum who got tired of this kind of nonsense. People who are ill informed trying to prompt others to bend and twist existing rules and regulations. Are we going to be some kind of hero if we smuggle an Achatina alive into NY city ? Corporate bodies respect existing laws and existing GALS traders would not risk their reputation in the attempt.
Maybe the real message is if you don't have a reputation you got nothing to loose anyway ? BAD ADVICE !
ya you don;t understand it because you live somewhere where you can mail and receive such things without problems. so "Are we going to be some kind of hero if we smuggle an Achatina alive into NY city ? " the answer is yes...you just may be to the person who is receiving them anyways. Do you understand 'that' type of message? "Are you saying people outside the US are not subject to their laws ? I don't think so cos you wrote "isn't really bound by them"" - isn't stands for 'is not'....so I did say is not bound by them" - of course you as a citizen of another country are not bound by our laws. your govt. may reach agreements and understandings of conduct but ultimately, you live by your countries rules not ours...I'm sure the US would like the rest of the world to think they live by our laws though.
"Why bring in the grey area ?" - Law is all about grey areas. and it is also all about a extreme minority making rules for a extreme majority. I agree with following the law, but in any case, it's just a discussion. it surely crosses the line coming out and asking someone to deliberately do something that is illegal, and merely talking about the finer points of the legality and consequences of it, however. if we like it or not, it is in direct relation to the hobby and having them as pets, and so is part of the forum intimately. and what do you mean wolf left, I just seen him post not to long ago....and he's often not posted in between post for various times. and even if he did, which would be a shame, I have always found his posts to be good, since when do people stop using the freedom of speech, because others use their freedom to go where they want or not where they want do to it?
like I said before, smoking Marijuana is and has been illegal in the US for quite awhile, it has neither stopped or even slowed down people from transporting it, nor smoking it, and now they are legalizing it, and in fact not even bothering to enforce it. GALS and other species are in fact already in the US, and the threat isn't so much by responsible pet owners (and in fact they imported them all over and it was quite common to have them as pets here.) anyways. I view a pet forum such as this as something to further the hobby aspect and knowledge of it...not merely to push some laws to a country most of you are not even part of, or try to play moral police on others. Take the time to get to know the people you get involved with and decide if they are responsible or not, and make your choice on what you think is right. and allow others to do the same. I know I promise if I were ever to have any species of snail or anything else that the law claimed I wasn't supposed to, they would be taken care of responsibly, and that includes making sure they do not escape or become a hazard to the environment in my area. I also live in the northern US most of the time, so even if a GAL did escape it isn't going to survive. same with NY.
well, thats a good and responsible point too really. As we have mentioned before, smuggling is a ugly business often by unscrupulous people who are only into it for profit, using and not caring about anything but themselves. Note that is 'often' though not absolute. It is important I think to uphold the responsible aspect of things, making sure something you care about, aka a snail.etc is protected and transported properly and with care, as you would anything else you actually care about.....but let;'s face it people..... they are snails...all the little girls and liberals who run around and go boo hoo, every single one must be protected as if they are something super special are just crack pots. (except of course in rare situations...things that are rare should be considered as such of course.) but in general many snails lay hundreds of eggs, and in nature a hedgehog will happily come along and just eat 100 or so of them at a time, and thats life (or the end of it in their case.) sending someone a few pomatia's and they get found by costumes and crushed is not a big deal at all. they get crushed by cars driving down the road, by bicycles, by little kids who see them and throw them against the pavement to be twits, by the teeth of hedgehogs everywhere and yes by all you people who supposedly love them sticking eggs in the freezer and performing abortions by the hundreds/thousands..... life goes on. send a few to a enthusiast, chances are they won't die in transit, and they will be loved instead of the frozen death by freezer. spend some time and talk to the person beforehand and decide if you think they will be responsible and knowledgeable, not merely if you like them or not, and do what you decide to do and spread the hobby and interests and in the future the better understanding of it.
As I've stated in another thread, I don't think it's in the best interest of this message board to discuss ways to break laws, regardless of how we feel about these laws. And a debate about the relevance of these laws really shouldn't take place in this particular thread.
Smugglers are a different kind of scammer as outlined in the first post of this thread. This kind of scammer tries to get your money without sending you anything in return, which is what this thread was trying to educate people about. Smuggling is a different kind of activity.
oh.... they are scammer A, and evidently you think this thread only pertains to scammer B...well you are the all wise moderator after-all, so it is your call. btw, are you actually making a call as a moderator for the forum or is this just your personal thoughts on the subject? cause I do not recall seeing anything in the forum guidelines that prevents anyone from having these types of discussions at all, so would just like to be clear to avoid further misunderstandings or accidentally not following the actual forum rules.