How To Avoid Being Scammed and Trade Safely
This guide is meant as the ultimate guide to trading safely and avoiding scams. As indicated by the above version number, it will be updated occasionally.
One of the best ways to safely trade is to use a vendor. Simply post on the trade forums what you are selling and tell people they can find it at this vendor, complete with screenshot and/or a brief description of its location. Or in the case of an auction, do the same, but place the item after the auction is over.
When you go to buy the item off the vendor:
1. Don't go in to buy the item immediately after a auction ends. People may be waiting to steal the item or kill you right after you buy the item.
2. Use tracking multiple times and confirm that no one is in the area.
3. Reveal the immediate area around the vendor.
4. If anyone is around, just come back later.
Another way to safely trade that I have been informed of is to use a small house with the items locked down in the house. Then you just transfer the entire house for the items price + house deed and go in later when no one is around to claim your items and house.
If you must trade directly with your characters in-game, then be aware of these things:
1. Trade in a city with the strongest guards if possible, so that it would be much tougher to steal from you and get away with it.
2. A thief cannot steal any single item above 10 stones. This includes halberds and warhammers, among other items.
3. Use tracking and reveal around the trading spot for possible thieves or accomplices.
4. A thief needs to be in the tile directly next to you to steal. There is a table barrier at Serpent's Hold bank with chests on each side, so that if you teleport behind there you are enclosed on all sides.
5. When trading large quantities of anything, just use the trade gump menu and split the stack into separate tradeable increments. Also empty out your pack so that you can carry more and it won't fall to the ground if the trade gump is closed. Or use one of the methods outlined above.
6. Always check the bank check every single time, especially if the trade gump is closed and reopened.
7. Trust your worst suspicions when dealing with someone unknown to you. If anything suspicious is going on around you, like someone guard whacked right next to you (don't loot) or the person trading keeps closing and opening the trading gump, don't be opposed to backing out of the deal altogether.
8. Never put anything in a bag to trade. Even blessed items can be stolen if they are in a bag.
9. Some other shards have brokers that are completely trusted by many members of the community. Use a broker for big deals if one is available, even if you have to pay extra money.
If you are buying rares, do all your research beforehand. That is, make sure you are paying a (completely subjective) fair price, that the reputation of the person you are buying from is not severely compromised and that any blessed items are really blessed.
If someone is claiming to be someone else, but you are not completely sure:
1. Ask them a question that only the person they are impersonating would know.
2. Don't give them anything at all.
3. Contact the person being impersonated through a different method of communication, like forum PM to confirm that it is actually them.
4. If you confirm that they are an imposter, expose them as such to your friends and guildmates. You can post in this thread a list of known scammers.
5. Don't trust anyone you don't know.
There you have it, my comprehensive guide on avoiding scams and trading safely. Thank you for reading and I hope this helps you trade safely and avoid scams.