Unlike Ebay.com or similar, MadMechanics in no way acts as a "middle man" in transactions, and hence can not confirm the terms of agreements, money transfers, etc... Just because someone is a member of this forum does not mean you can trust them with your money!

Here are a few basic steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a fraudulent transaction:
- Ask for references, and contact the references to discuss their experience with the vendor. You can also search the Consumer Opinions board as well as Google to read about other's experiences with the vendor
- Use a payment method which has some form of fraud protection built in, such as credit cards. Do not use Western Union money transfers or similar "untraceable" payment methods!
- Learn as much as possible about the seller, especially if the only information you have is an e-mail address. Get a mailing address at minimum, and try to confirm it using whitepages.com or similar. If it is a business, check the Better Business Bureau where the seller/business is located.
- If you are purchasing a service rather than a product, check the service provider's credentials and certifications to ensure they are up to date and valid
- For large dollar items/projects, do not pay the full amount up front; instead, setup payment installments based on the progress of the project
- Consider using an escrow service such as www.escrow.com

More information and tips on avoiding fraud over the Internet are available from the FBI Anti Fraud Site