This is by no means an all exclusive list and I would really request additional input on ways you've avoided scams in the past. But, without further ado, here are some ways I have kept scam-free (knock on wood) over the years of doing online sales/trading: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. I would repeat this 300 times with glowing pink letters, but I don't know how to do that, so please reread this 300 times. If it's a seasoned member, with solid classifieds feedback, and the price is still too good to be true one of two things has occurred: That member's account has been hacked and someone is trying to scam you through that member's account (IM'ing the member may not work because the scammer has changed the associated email address to theirs); or 2. That member has died and their spouse is selling the gun(s) at whatever crazy low price we told our spouse we paid for it originally. In that case, congrats on your $750 Chen custom build. Call and text the member. I prefer calling. If I'm dealing with a John Smith, and the person talking to me sounds more like a Viktor Chobonski, we've got problems. Also, the member should have no reservations about giving out his/her number anyway. Join date means nothing to me. I don't care if the member has been here since 2011. I need multiple posts as well. Anyone can join and just post once or twice each month over a couple of years and build up time here, but have only 30 posts. View the trading profile. Then, view the actual thread on what was traded/bought. If you see a pattern of $15 trades/sales, I'm not sold on a $3,000 purchase. Dig deeper. Ask to see a picture of the firearm with a handwritten PostIt note or piece of paper with whatever info you want. I usually request their member name handwritten and placed on the grip. Make sure it's handwritten- Photoshop is powerful. You can also ask to have it in the ejection port to make it even harder to forge. Use tineye.com to see if the pic posted has been posted elsewhere. Tineye has access to over 17 billion pictures on the internet and will tell you web addresses where that pic has shown up. If the seller/buyer says they can't seem to post new pics, okay, tell them to take the pic and text it to your phone. They still say they can't do it, tell them to grab whatever family member that is 21 or younger and get help doing it. If the member is new, ask them for other forums they are members of where they have feedback on trades/buys/sells. Make sure their forum name there is the same as it is on Addicts. Face to face trumps mail all day every day. Meet in a brightly lit, heavily frequented place. Grocery story parking lots are great; police parking lots are better; police station is best. Oh, and if you CCW... bring it with you. Cashier's checks can still be fake. They may even clear but 2 months later you're going to get a knock at the door or a bad phone call and you'll owe back your bank that money. Tell the seller you'll wait to send the money once you have the item. If you're selling, you'll send once you have the money and it's cleared. Check forums dedicated to the brand of firearm you buying. See if it's posted there for sale as well and see what the price is. Almost every brand of firearm has a dedicated forum and the vast majority of those forums have classified sections. Check out some of their posts. If it's random posts like "What to do when an alien attacks" or responses to postings that are one or two words or just plain weird, they are just trying to build up their posting numbers.