It is no doubt that a majority of dark web vendors use ICQ and Jabber to communicate with some of their clients. This has brought about the issue of offsite payments.
The offsite payments have in turn provided them with the opportunity to offer services directly to their customers, without having to go through the bureaucracies of the sites where they provide their services.
The darknet markets they work for may tend to follow some protocols which may be an inconvenience to them.
This includes: waiting for quite some time for payments to be released, disputes and bad reviews in case the product is not as described, the product does not arrive in time or does not arrive at all, and complete refund to the client in order to protect the reputation of the site.
All of the inconveniences vary from one site to the other. Some sites will take a commission that is either fixed or proportionate to the amount involved in the transaction
These are some of the factors that prompt vendors to request offsite payments if they prefer to have direct clients, as it minimizes the chances of jeopardizing their account because there are no onsite transactions involved.
Some customers who hope to find genuine sellers end up requesting for the person’s ICQ or Jabber account, which they then use to communicate with the vendor about a particular product.
Some clients also despise following lengthy procedures and prefer working with the sellers directly
In line with the protocol used, some issues arise. They may get off to a good start, but end badly.
Because some vendors will start off with a bulk of services, as demand grows they begin to find they can’t deliver what is promised.
At this point, things get thick and tension between parties involved start to arise.
Now if you were doing your transactions onsite, it will be relatively easy to get your money back in the form of bitcoin.
This is because you may contact the site admins directly or file a dispute and, if you wish, you may leave a negative comment for future buyers to know the type of person they’re dealing with.
Once communication is initiated with the vendor through ICQ or Jabber however, both parties can become the target of fraud and scam.
First, because you will have to pay first in the form of bitcoin and, mind you, this is not like PayPal where you can file a dispute and get your money back.
You also never get to know the person’s name, because they will just send you a bitcoin address along with the funds.
If the person is legitimate, then you definitely will have what you requested.
But if they aren’t, then you become a victim of fraud.
Now, if they are a scam, then you will experience either of the following. One, get blocked or deleted you from the contact list.
Two, they will ask for more funds to deliver (tip: do not send). Three, they do not respond to any of your messages no matter how many times you text.
And last but not least, the vendor will go offline completely because they operate multiple accounts on the communication platforms.
Those who have made offline payments and have at one point been a victim of fraud can likely attest to the above facts.
For some cunning and very shrewd individuals who have been victims of fraud will tend to use their exposure to defraud other innocent and unsuspecting people ranging from close friends to colleagues.
How they do this is very simple. If they’re aware a close friend needs some services, they will give them the ICQ or Jabber contacts of a vendor who they purport to know is offering services.
Note that the usernames given to the other party are fake, created by the other person who intends to use it to defraud.
It is recommended to that you should be very cautious when taking a contact from a friend who purports to know a vendor who offers services.
The person will presumably assume that they have been given a legitimate contact and referral, and will think that they are dealing with an individual with the first-hand experience.
Little do they know that they are about to be someone’s victim.
They then start communication with the person without knowing what the plan is all about.
As usual, the conversation flows pretty well and goes through as the client expects, because the vendor claims the goods/services will be delivered.
So they then demand payment first, in the form of bitcoin.
When they first request payment, you can usually tell whether the person is legitimate or not using a variety of indicators.
First, monitor their communication and choice of words, avoid those who use abusive and vulgar language at all times, as this is a sign they’re on a mission to scam.
Second, ask if they can accept partial payments and if their response is negative, keep off entirely.
Thirdly, try to ask for evidence and see how fast or slow they respond to this. It will enable you to come to a realization of whether or not they can deliver.
Finally, the more persistent the person is, then their probability of scamming you is increased since their persistence can be interpreted as a sign of desperation.
By following the tips, one can have a picture of the type of person they’re dealing with as well as identify which circumstances to avoid.
It is, therefore, important to note that whenever you are dealing with a vendor through ICQ or Jabber, extra caution needs to follow.
Also, insist on online payments through the dark market site as they have a few measures to safeguard your finances.
If not that, insist on a third party such as escrow as it will protect you from the seller in case they have ill motives.
It will take quite some time before you realize that your colleague or friend was playing dirty games with you.
And at times, you may never get to know it. But even if you realize, there is hardly much you can do about it because the business is considered “dirty” and not for the faint hearted, which means not anyone can do it.
If you realize a vendor claims to offer certain services and they do not want to make a transaction through a darknet site, use a third party.
Otherwise, it’s only best to avoid them because they have exhibited the characteristics of a pure fraud.