Our blog this week looks at some recent scary scams we have seen on facebook community groups. At Trivelo Bikes we pride ourselves in having the most secure website anywhere to help people buy and sell used bicycles but we aren’t the only way people sell their bikes…not yet anyway! Facebook groups of cycling & triathlon enthusiasts have been growing in number on facebook with people sharing basic information about their bikes and cycling equipment. Quick and free it may be but it is unfortunately not totally secure. With no validation of the bike or the seller anyone can join a private group and offer gear for sale.
The scam involves someone setting up a temporary profile page using a cycling flavoured photo looking all lycra loving and genuine. They skulk around the outskirts of facebook groups building up some history and then request to innocently join your local group. As community groups have little analytic capability to check the authenticity of any newly discovered members they generally are allowed in and then have access to the community members. Generally building some credibility to list a bike or parts for sale over a few weeks and then sneaking in an advert for something gorgeous and shiny up for sale at a very reasonable price. The scammers generally have little knowledge on what they are selling but claim to be selling it for a friend, really? The pictures are the first clue and the lack of any real knowledge is the second. The final kicker that should leave you running to the hills is resistance to disclose where they are located. But being super friendly and offering to post it once you have paid. When they disappear back into the interweb never to be seen again. Email account closed and facebook page left dormant.
Watch yourselves out there people.
Why are we different I guess is a fair question? We are free to list and have lots of shiny lovely used bikes for sale. Just the same as a facebook group but we have built Trivelo from the beginning to be secure.
- We have integrated bike frame checking services built in, we look up the frame number against the national stolen bike registers. No need to go and check in another database. We use the frame ID supplied and check continuously that the bike listed is really for sale. Not just when its listed but through the life of it on our site.
- We have strava integrated profile pages. Not so some scammer can find where you live (we don’t list that) but we do share your profile picture, name, sex, and city. Enough to deliver a real profile.
- We have built a list of every cycling and triathlon club in the country and capture this information so when you meet your buyer you can ask them about their club. Hard to blag about a local cycling club when you meet in the flesh or speak on the phone.
- We have detailed bicycle listing information so when a bike is listed it comes with plenty of detailed information that helps you know exactly what your buying. Plus lots of scope to ask questions and make sure your buyer really has the bike.
We’re working on more changes to keep improving the site security and make the journey for you even better. So come use us to buy & sell bikes and have confidence in the content on our site.
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes Ltd and passionate about delivering a secure web platform for all cyclists.