The rise of the Facebook group (and the ease at which they are created / joined) has provided a fertile ground for fraudsters to play in the cloth diaper world. Women tend to trust each other and, assuming the best in each other, readily step into traps laid by those who prey on the gullibility of those new to the cloth diaper arena. New Facebook groups make it easy for scam artists to jump from group to group. This post will give you sevent steps for identifying and avoiding Mommy Fraud.
1. Do some research in the media to verify a story before you believe stories of family crisis accompanied by requests for donations. If you think you should help, whenever possible, send your gift through a credible organization. This may seem unnecessary, but unfortunately, one of the more common fraudulent patterns of behavior involves a masterfully crafted personal crisis involving children combined with a requests for donations of cash or household items. Often, once gifts are received, the items are sold for cash.
2. When buying diapers through a private party, always request photos of the inside of a diaper (check for staining), the outside of the diaper (check for holes), the front and back of the label (look for special marks* and ask for details), and the inside of the PUL layer. If you’re purchasing a Cotton Babies product from a private party and don’t understand the markings on the product you’re purchasing, feel free to call Cotton Babies with any questions.
3. PayPal protects buyers. Generally speaking, almost anyone is able to send and receive money via PayPal. Always request a detailed PayPal invoice that describes the condition of the product you’re purchasing. Once you’ve received the invoice, Click “Pay Invoice” to send money.
4. Never send money as a gift. If you send money as a gift through PayPal, and the diapers don’t show up or aren’t as described, you have no recourse.
5. When doing a trade, swap PayPal funds (using an invoice) that match the value of the trade before sending your package.
6. Ask the person for links to public feedback about her previous business transactions.
7. If you still have doubts, don’t go through with the transaction.
Are you experienced in buying and selling through Facebook groups? Your pointers are welcome in the comments.