This is how to avoid getting scammed on Overheard at Exeter

Save yourself £25 and a lot of embarrassment

Thanks to corona, securing club tickets has been harder than ever in Exeter this term. With a big increase in demand, and what feels like a big decrease in supply, people have found themselves paying extortionate amounts just to step foot in TP (thanks a lot, FOMO). Things have gone from bad to worse as now not only are we sending strangers £40 for a £2.80 ticket, we are sending strangers £40 for no ticket whatsoever when we discover they are not a real student. They’re a scammer.

Although we can’t legally name some of the most notorious scammers that have popped up, the same names keep popping up over and over again, and comments such as “massage me thanks” have become synonymous under any post looking for a TP ticket. With more and more scammers joining the online group every day, these are some of the things you can look out for to avoid becoming their next victim:

Their name appears under every single post

First things first, do your research before even bothering to discuss prices with a suspected scammer. Click on their Overheard profile and view their recent activity. Have they commented on every single post that is looking for tickets? Do they claim to have tickets to Unit 1, TP, Cavern and Fever all for the same night? Are they new to the group that day? Are they telling the entire population of Overheard to message them as if they are struggling to get rid of tickets that over 100 people are desperate for?

Think about their reputation

Certain scammers are gaining quite the status on Overheard and even becoming honorary Rising Star members. Their names are being shared all over Facebook to warn others. Often, even if you have not been scammed by them, someone you know will have been. Ask around if you have suspicions to see whether someone else has legitimately accused them of being a scammer before.

We contacted the profile behind the infamous ‘massage me, thanks’ comments. Is she more of a scammer or a meme at this point? Thriving on the fame, the person lived up to their reputation when approached about this article, agreeing to comment “under one condition. You’ll pay me £20”. Perhaps it is this ruthlessness that causes her reputation to precede her to the point where second year Josh and fourth year Tom attended the Rifle Club’s Iconic Duo social as ‘a TP ticket and a sneaky scammer’:

The name on their Facebook and payment details doesn’t match

I don’t know about you, but my PayPal account is in my own name. So are the accounts of my friends, my sisters, my boss, even my cousin’s friend’s dog. If the name of their Facebook account and the name of their payment details are not the same, chances are they not who they claim to be and you are sending money to a random, untraceable individual, never to be seen again. If they claim the account details are a friend’s, tell them to get that friend to message you. Check before you send!

They ask you to send money via Friends and Family

Now, this is a trap I once fell into. As a PayPal amateur, sending money using the Friends and Family tool sounds sensible for a quicker payment, lower transaction costs and no conversion fees (why would we even need to convert to $€ in Exeter?!). However, Friends and Family transactions are non-refundable and there is no payment protection. AKA a scammer’s dream. Once that money is out of your account in this way, PayPal will not help you recover it.

If the steps above fail you in identifying one of Overheard’s most wanted, there is always one trusty tool to fall back on – your common sense. If you still end up sending dollars or euros to a fake account with no Facebook likes or mutual friends who does not even live in Exeter, let alone attend the University, then be sure to spread the word and prevent others from the same fate – at least after you’ve gotten over the disappointment of finding yourself out of pocket and home alone on a Wednesday evening.

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