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Welcome to the Doodads community!
We are all working together towards making a friendly community which
we can all enjoy while swapping goods. We want nothing more than to offer
a safe and pleasant experience.
While we hope every individual using our service will do so in an honest,
well-meaning and respectful manner not everyone on the internet has the
best intentions, and some unscrupulous individuals may attempt to take advantage
of services such as ours. Please, please follow the below points and
exercise safety and caution.
Always remember one of the best methods of keeping safe may
be your personal intuition! If something ever feels wrong, please
flag an ad or user, and we will step in to investigate.
Personal safety is paramount when using our service; as our parents have
always told us: never trust strangers! This is especially true with
any online service that connects people. Always use your personal intuition,
if something feels wrong do not be afraid to stop and remove yourself from
a potentially bad situation.
The below points might not always be possible, but whenever available these
are some of the best measures to keep safe.
Bring a friend to the transaction.
Meet in a neutral and public place with people around; restaurants, cafes.
Avoid going or bringing people to a personal residence. If you must,
always try to perform the entire transaction outside the front door.
Avoid entering or bringing strangers inside.
Have everything needed for the transaction ready, and avoid bringing
anything extra. Avoid bringing and/or exposing excess cash or valuables.
Do have a mobile phone.
See if the buyer/seller has a reputation. Registered users will have
reputation scores and micro-reviews which can be used to see what
experience other persons have had.
Avoid last-minute 'haggling' with buyers/sellers. Keep
any transactions brief, and avoid drawn-out interactions. Do inspect
any goods, but try to be brisk as possible and not linger.
Do not attempt to solicit adult interaction or 'hook ups'; it is both
unwelcome and potentially dangerous. If receiving such solicitation
decline any advances calmly and civilly. We request all users who receive
an advance of this nature report it immediately via our flagging system.
Flirting or dressing provocatively is highly discouraged as it may
provoke these situations.
Fraud & Scam Awareness
As with any service, there are going to be bad apples who seek to
scam and/or defraud others. Instead of turning their creativity to legitimate
activity these individuals will attempt to circumvent our checks and systems,
and unfortunately we cannot guarantee your protection from these people.
Below are some points which may help you navigate around these bad
actors; and wherever possible if you see the signs of illegitimate practices
we also request you use our flagging system to alert us so others do not fall
victim before we can prevent it.
If you cannot inspect the item before paying (such as a vacation rental)
carefully review the ad for signs of fraud. Things like pictures looking
"too" good, stock photography, "too good" pricing,
etc. Also check to see if the ad lists irrelevant details that may have
been copied from somewhere else, such as a
vacation rental mentioning it's near a school.
Check to see if a post mentions "fees" associated with the
product; verify any fees and their exact amounts. Research any
associated fees and who they should be paid to, and verify this information
with the seller. If a seller
is being elusive, roundabout, or giving false information with their answers,
it could be a sign of scams.
If performing a monetary transaction, ensure you are paid strictly in
Settle on a firm price before confirming a sale, and do not delete an
ad until you have your compensation. Some individuals may attempt renegotiate
the price at the door; remember you are under no obligation to sell
if someone reneges on the price, and it was their choice to do so.
Watch for "Strange" Grammar, Punctuation and Language.
Doodads is a multi-lingual website, so some posters may naturally post
in their second-language. Still, there are tells which you may notice
in many scammers or frauds.
Strangely verbose language. International scammers may use
oddly verbose language in their communication. If something sounds like
"lawyer language" it's probably fake.
Not mentioning specifics. Often scammers will use automated 'robots'
to send out messages en-mass in an attempt to establish communication.
If they constantly
refer to everything as "the item", "the product",
"your ad" and never refer to anything specific: it's likely a robot.
Note: Some robots will copy the title from an ad. When you see a
message that contains generic wording and your verbatim title, it's still
likely a robot.
Extreme grammar errors and incorrect pluralization. Often scammers
may make extreme grammar mistakes, such as using no punctuation or having
Religious terms. Some scammers will use religious terminology in
an attempt to present themselves as 'honest' or 'dutiful' individual
using terms such as 'God Bless', often referring to their targets as a
'fellow god-fearing' individuals. Some messages may contain passages from
Look Out for Odd Behavior
Scammers and fraudsters must work 'outside' of the system as much as
possible to avoid getting caught while they attempt their shenanigans.
Because of this, they can't behave regularly all of the time, and have
some give-away behaviorisms.
They may contact you via text-message asking for your email.
Scammers may text you asking for your email address in an effort to
avoid using the Doodads reply forms. They do this to keep 'under the
radar' and avoid being discovered.
They almost never agree to talk on the phone or meet in person.
If someone you are in contact with makes every excuse not to speak or
meet with you - especially if they claim to be local - the individual
could be a scammer or fraud.
They demand payment using a third-party service, to a separate individual, or via mail.
There are very few occasions a transaction cannot be handled with cash,
and sending payments over the web or by mail is the preferred method
scammers use because of the extreme difficulty or impossibility of
recovering funds. Fraudsters may claim any money needs to be sent to
'a friend' or 'lawyer' or 'associate' who will forward it to them: this
is a lie.
They demand payments before producing or showing any goods.
Even if you're the one selling something, scammers will always at some
point demand payment before they produce anything. Be especially wary
if they claim to be having any sort of 'difficulty' which requires
you pay extra, such as shipping fees, and they claim they'll 'reimburse'
Out-of-place pressure. Scammers will often use pressure as a
method of getting targets to 'lower their guards' and may come in
the form of legal, time, or moral pressure. They may need your reply
'right away' or threaten legal action at the slightest provocation.
This is incredibly common if a scammer is close to extracting money
from you, or are getting nervous that you're 'catching on'. Additionally,
they may accuse you of fraud in an effort to put you off-balance, and the
worst may even make physical threats. If
someone begins putting pressure on you, know that these threats are
meaningless and you can safely ignore them.
Check for Inconsistencies
Fraudsters and scammers will often have several inconsistencies in their
messages, contact information, or credentials.
Check the email address, if it's mostly random letters or has several
random numbers on the end, it could be a disposable email address used
Check for staff badges on Doodads. When browsing the main Doodads website,
staff members will be prominently marked as such. If a user claims to be
a staff member check to ensure they have a staff member emblem near their name.