Avoid scams and fraud on Swaylock's Surfshop

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Scams and fraud
Most people who use Swaylock's Surfshop have great stories to tell about their experiences with buyers & sellers, but we also receive occasional reports of scams and fraud. We've found that one of the best ways to avoid this problem is to keep all transactions local -- whenever possible, don't do business with anyone who is not in your local area.
Use caution and common sense when dealing with any financial transaction:

  • DEAL ONLY WITH LOCALS! Most non-local inquiries on Swaylock's Surfshop are scams.
  • NEVER wire funds to a distant person, via Western Union or any other carrier
  • Be wary if the other party wants to use an escrow service such as BidPay or Squaretrade
  • NEVER give out personal financial information (checking account number, SSN, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • trust your instincts, and always remember that the most important rule -- caveat emptor -- BUYER BEWARE -- applies to any transaction on SwayBay where money is involved.
  • Pay with a credit card or PayPal account by using the "Buy It Now!" feature. "Buy it Now!" utilizes PayPal as the payment service and this allows you to ad a money back guarantee to your purchase for a small additional cost. This is good for larger transactions.
If you think you have been scammed, contact the non-emergency number for your local police department -- they may be able to offer advice about your options. Who should I notify about fraud?
  • FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
  • FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
  • Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
  • Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/)
If you suspect that an item posted for sale on SwayBay may be part of a scam, please email the details to "[email protected]". Be sure to include the URL (or Swaylock's Surfshop record ID) in your message.
Recognizing scams

Most scams meet involve one or more of the following:
  • inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • proposed transaction includes a cashier's check, postal money order, Western Union, or escrow service (BidPay, Squaretrade, etc.)
  • inability or refusal to meet face-to-face
Types of Scams

1. Someone claims that Swaylock's Surfshop will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that SwayBay will handle or provide protection for a payment
  • These claims are fraudulent, as Swaylock's Surfshop provides a platform for third-party sellers and buyers to negotiate and complete transactions. Swaylocks is not involved in the actual transaction between Sellers and Buyers and is not the agent of and has no authority for either for any purpose.
  • Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from Swaylock's Surfshop, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, providing payment services -- all such emails are fakes!
2. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check
  • you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your item sight unseen.
  • cashier's check is offered for your sale item.
  • value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
  • banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
  • scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)
3. Someone requests payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:
  • Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
  • common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, UK, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere
  • deal often seems too good to be true
4. distant person offers to send you a cashier's check and then have you wire money:
  • this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE
  • sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
  • scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
  • deal often seems too good to be true
5. distant person suggests use of an online escrow service.
  • most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers
  • for more info, do a google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud"
  • if you must do business with a distant seller, insist on a legitimate service, such as www.escrow.com
6. distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods
  • he says he trusts you with the partial payment
  • he may say he has already shipped the goods
  • deal often sounds too good to be true
actual examples of scam emails sent to SwayBay sellers

Thanks for your mail,it look great and I 'm interested in purchasing it.
Concerning the shipment have a shipper company that will handle the
shipment so you dont need to bother about the shipment.however,This
is how the payment will be made A client of mine in United State his
owing me some funds of ($4,000)I will instruct him to issue a Check
Drawn from US BANK in your name and once it clear you will deduct
the cost of the :{2 -6'9}{$495) and the remaining balance will be
end back to my Shipper via western union money transfer for immediate
shipping arrangment.the reason is that i am financialy at this moment
and i have so much interested in buying the{2 -6'9},that is why i
want my client to issue you the Check.If this is okay with you do
get back to me immediately with your information as listed below
for me to instruct myclient to issue the Check in your name.Hope
to hear from you soonest and also if the pics is aviliable i
will like to see it.


I will compensate you with $100 for the running arround and transportation and also to consider the item sold to me



Hello ,
Thanks for your mail back concerning the inquiry mail i sent to you.
The price,condition also the pics i viewed is okay by me .And my client
confirm there is no problem about the price($975 ) ,my client do pays with
a {USA}cashier check,he has agreed to mail out as bank cashiers check of
$3500. to you on my behalf to cover the shippment fees.About the shippment,
that we be taken care by my me & my personal assistant,my personal assistant
will be using his shipper to do the quick processing of the shipping of
the(Hobie longboard) to my client.
So all you are to do after you will received the check in your mail,
Just take out your sale amount and refer the remaining money to my shipper
immediately through the westernunion or the money gramm outlet so to get the
money fast and start the fast arrangement for the pickup of the
(Hobie longboard).Since you are the original owner of this item,and i
am buying the item directly from you i will like you to write your full name
to be on the check,with the mailing address which my client will be using
to issued out the check to you.I do wish to trust you by refering the rest
balance back to my shipper and also your fast doing to this transaction.
I will like to hear fromyou if this is okay by you and you are ready to
process ,if you aready to sale your item and promise refering the rest
balance to my shipper immediately you received the check so can start the
quick arrangement for the pickup. Any body that want to buy this item
this item just tell therm that it as been sold. I will like to copmplete
this transaction befor the new year. I be at my computer waiting to see
your epky to my payment method mailed.


> Thanks for getting back to me,i will be
>purchasing the surfing board Like i said earlier i am based in the
>netherlands(holland).there won't be any probs about the shipment,after
>payment ,the pick up will be made at your place. i have made arrangements
>with the prepaid shipping company. As regards payment,this is what i am
>going to do;I have a client in ENGLAND who is owing me 5800POUNDS i would
>instruct him to make out a money order/certifiedcheck to you in that
>amount and as soon as it clears your bank. you can now deduct your money
>from it and send me my balance,i will using use part of the money to pay
>for the shipping and other expenses .you will then send my balance by via
>western union money transfer.Although the value of the check is more than
>the asking price but i think i should be able to trust you with my
>balance. The reason why i am doing this is that it would take a check
>sent from over here in HOLLAND 21days to clearover there,whereas a check
>sent from the US would clear tops within 48hrs. So i would like you to
>deduct the western union charges from my balance.So if my terms are
>acceptableto you,i would like you to give me your fullname,address and
>phone number so that i can instruct my client to make out the check to
>you. Pls get back to me as soon as you get this mail so that we can
>round things up in a timely fashion..i willbe trusting in this business
GABBYS's picture
Joined: 05/29/2005

A guy just tried to scam me on my board for sale.
unreal ............
YA, deal with locals only period. We have always had guys not pay for boards, but those were usually your friends and you could pound em or otherwise make em pay.

I can blame someone else for this shit so here goes.
I am so happy that Richsilver and Buildmybong are strong and growing companies. I am so glad that they sell surfing to the masses. I am so glad that my local spot is crowded mid week now.
Please make all the money you guys can so you can GO FAR AWAY TO GET AWAY FROM WHAT YOU F ING CREATED. Thanks for f ing up what was a way of life for most of us pre - pro guys. Thanks for making even selling my f ing board part of the outside world of scammers and manipulative f ks.

Oh, I just noticed that my trunks are the wrong color for this year. I am running down to Costa Greed surf shop and buy some new ones just like Kelly and his f ing ilk.


Anonymous's picture
Swaylock (not verified)

Here's another:


Thanks for the fast response and i'm very much satisfied with the condition
and i really want to purchase this item to my son. i show him the pics so he
really love it.i want you to consider this item to me because i'm okay with
the final price and the payment will be inform of Cashier Check.
Right i'm out of town for a business trip to australia but iwill instruct my
secetary to mail out the check and you dont have to worry about the
shipping,because i have alot of items that will be ship together with
yours,i have courier shipping company that will come for pick-up,so the
freight company has been arrange for the the pick-up of the item, the
shipping company will come to your loaction and have the item pick-up so you
dont have to bother your self about any shippment.the payment that will be
send to you will include the shipping company fee which you will be
recieving and once you recieve the check you are to cash it and deduct your
item fee,the rest amount will be send to the shipping company to start the
paper work and documentation Shipping Reference Guide with custom duty rates
and insurance fee, all shipping process will be handle by the shipping
company so you dont have any tress about the shippment all you have to
provide is your full name and address with your phone number where to send
the check and pick-up address and time for shipping company to come for the
pick-up.hope to read from you soon do reply me to my email


i read about thos otem and i'm very much intrested to buy what is the final
price of the item,because i'm buying it to my beloved wife get back to me
with more pics of the item so that i can show my wife hope to read from you