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-Andy- posted a topic in General Fossil DiscussionIt pains me to see a resurgence of Chinese scammers on Facebook, WeChat and Instagram, as business must be good. I've been scammed by them, and so have several people I know. The fossils they advertise are incredible to the point where many of us are tempted. Here, take a look at pics taken from the walls of several confirmed-scammers. Looks amazing, doesn't it? Their price are pretty awesome too, so off you go, transferring $1000 USD to their Western Union, and.... nothing. Your money is gone forever. Here are some warning signs of the Chinese scammers. I will say it again: If these Chinese sellers refuse to use Paypal, be on guard. It doesn't matter how many likes and mutual friends they share with you, scammers can make attractive accounts and add a thousand friends just to look trustworthy. Right now, there's a scammer Facebook account that shares over 100 mutual friends with me. Someone posted on his wall complaining of a scam, and the seller removed it within a day. Check the seller's track records. Ask friends and trusted collectors if any of them have ever made successful dealings with the seller. Keichousaurus does not count! I know a case where a friend bought a single cheap Keich from someone on Instagram, and the same seller then went out to scam others with far more expensive fossils after getting the seal of approval from the first guy. Also, take note not all of them admit to being from China. I know a scammer who claims to be from USA. His fossil pictures are similar to other Chinese scammers. When my friend pretended to make a purchase, this seller gave a Chinese address for Western Union, and an Alipay account pointing to a Chinese name too. For more info, please refer to this previous thread > Remember, if it's too good to be true, it probably isn't. If you have any doubts or questions, please feel free to ask others on TFF. There are many experts here who can offer you advise. If you require more info on these scammers, feel free to PM me.
Hi all, I am noticing an increasing number of sellers (especially those based in Asia) who advertise on Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and other social media instead of eBay. Unfortunately, many of them do not use Paypal. As you know, not every payment platform has buyer protection. To protect yourself, please carry out these checks: 1) Find out why the seller doesn't use Paypal. Is it for a legitimate reason? E.g. a Lebanese seller can't use Paypal as it's restricted there. Mainland China sellers apparently, CAN use Paypal, so take extra care if they refuse to use it. 2) Check the seller's track records. Ask friends and trusted collectors if any of them have ever made successful dealings with the seller. 3) Beware of similar photos on multiple platforms. Scammers sometimes create fake profiles that look just like a legitimate dealer, and steal their pictures as well. Perform background checks. Don't just assume that a dealer has multiple accounts, FIND OUT. Message him on his separate accounts (e.g. Facebook and eBay) and see if he notices. 4) Beware of non-Paypal platforms such as AliPay, WeChat and Western Union etc. There is little-to-no buyer protection on them. Don't send your money over unless you are absolutely sure of this deal. 5) Ask questions! Does the dealer know what shipping to use? Can the dealer take multiple photos of the fossil for you at specific angles you request? Is the dealer evasive with his answers? Is the deal too good to be true? There is no such thing as too much checking. 6) Be objective. It doesn't matter how friendly a dealer is. He could be the friendliest man on the planet, asking you about your family and work, laughing at your jokes, liking all your pictures. Most of the time, all they want is your money. Dealers who genuinely want to be your friend are rare gems, and worth holding on to. 7) Facebook mutual friends / Instagram followers doesn't matter. Scammers can make attractive accounts and add a thousand friends just to look trustworthy. I've seen a scammer FB account that shared over 100 mutual friends with me. 8) Does your credit card protect you? Assuming the dealer is sketchy, but you are somewhat sure of this deal, find out if your credit card/bank can protect you if this is a scam. Take note that AliPay doesn't work with many major credit cards. 9) If all else fails, demand Paypal. If the dealer genuinely wants business, and he operates in a country with Paypal, then it's in his best interest to use Paypal. Remember - great fossils appear every other day. Is this deal so special as to be worth the risk you're taking? Lastly, don't forget to post some pictures here at TFF; there are many experts here more than willing to share their expertise. Good luck!
Whole dinosaur eggs are highly sought-after fossils. The ones usually available to collectors are Hadrosaur eggs, Oviraptor eggs and Segnosaur eggs from China. This thread deals specifically with hadrosaur eggs. Hadrosaur eggs (Dendroolithus sp.) as we know from the market are in fact various dinosaur species, often hadrosaurid (many collectors/dealers lack the tools or discipline to examine eggshells under microscopes or have accredited museums examine them). Commercially available eggs vary greatly in price, anything from 150 USD to 1,500 USD depending on quality, size, hatched/unhatched and prep work. They usually range from 3.5 inches to 7 inches in diameter, and are mostly hatched types (which means the egg is in fact empty. If you prep out the bottom matrix, chances are it's hollow). However, hadrosaur eggs are also one of the most commonly faked, or mistaken fossils in the world. Anything from pieces of rock, pebbles, septarian nodules, concretions, or even chemically-etched objects are sold as eggs. There are several online right now. Here are examples of false hadrosaur eggs we often see in the market. Here are examples of partial/composite hadrosaur eggs (Note these ones are real to an extent. They can be a more economical choice as long as you know what you are getting).
Hey guys! If you have bids on hadrosaur eggs currently being sold on our favorite auction site STRONGLY RECONSIDER your purchase... There are several of them being auctioned right now from two different sellers. I bought one and received it on Monday. I was pretty suspicious from the get go, but my curiosity got the better of me. It came from Malaysia (red flag), was packaged well, and came quickly. It looked nice, but a little sketchy. Texture wasn't great. Already I decided I wanted to return it...but I also needed to know if it was really a hoax. That's when I decided to take a knife and scrape away the matrix from the egg for a few hours (I don't have any prep tools). Eventually my knife plunged through a hole. Within the hole I could see there was a small space between the base of the egg and matrix. At this point I decided, what the heck, and grabbed a nail and a hammer. I hammered away until eventually the matrix came off in chunks. One chunk came away with a piece of egg shell. Under the egg shell there were large amounts of glue. It was quite obvious at this point that this was just a piece of junk... With that said, don't make my mistake. I'm sure most people on here are wiser than I am, but the eggs looked reasonable, and the guy offered a full return. Maybe if I hadn't hammered at it I could have gotten my money back, but I had to know. At least I may save other people from getting scammed . Kind regards, Lauren