Woman holding bank card and phone about to make a payment online

Vivastreet: How to identify & avoid ad scams

At Vivastreet, we’ve discovered a string of frauds and scams that are targeting our advertisers and service users.

While our dedicated team continues to work hard to overcome this issue, there is always a risk of falling victim to scammers. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to avoid them.

Here’s some information below that can help you use our site safely.

Is Vivastreet legit and safe?

Yes. Vivastreet is a legit and secure global classified website. Since launching in 2004, we are a trusted and safe platform with millions of visitors every week

 

Vivastreet homepage

 

Here are some facts that confirm Vivastreet is legit:

  • Vivastreet is a sub-brand of Digital Ventures, a digital group that specialises in online marketplaces since 1999
  • We have a Help Centre and a dedicated customer service team to provide the support our users need
  • We partner with credible brands and organisations such as National Ugly Mugs, ClientEye, IncomeMax, and more 
  • We have a recognised social media presence on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
  • Run our website through Google’s Safe Browsing Transparency Report and you’ll see that our site is safe 
  • The https:// and sitelock in our URL shows that we are an encrypted and secure site
  • Users can view our digital certificate by clicking on the padlock in our URL, providing proof of verification and that our site can be trusted 

Although we’re a legit site, it’s important to note that we are NOT affiliated with any of our advertisers

Therefore, we are not responsible for scammers and do not involve ourselves in the communication between advertisers and users.

What Vivastreet will never do

If you experience any of the following, this is not done by Vivastreet and you’re most likely being approached by a scammer. We will never:

  • Ask for your login details (email account and password) to our site
  • Randomly ask for money, deposits or personal bank information
  • Offer any sort of buyer protection or payment programs

Please note that in some instances, Vivastreet will need to ask you for additional personal information to perform some safety checks. If you are in doubt about the person calling you, please don’t hesitate to call us back directly through our Customer Service line, as they’ll be able to confirm if it’s a genuine request coming from Vivastreet.

How to identify and avoid scams in ads

We work daily so that all ads published on Vivastreet are 100% legit. 

More than 90% of fake or bad ads are deleted within a few hours of being posted

However, some of these ads are visible at times, and there will be scammers that slip through the net. 

Whether you’re looking to buy a property, vehicle or hire an escort, always be aware of the small pitfalls that scammers can put your way.

As we can’t meticulously background check every user on our site, we advise all users to think critically when assessing if they should respond to an ad or give their money or details over to a stranger they haven’t met.

First and foremost, trust your instinct and if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is.

 

Pile of credit cards on a fishing hook to symbolise phishing scams

 

Below are some red alerts to look out for in ads and avoid being scammed:

  • Poor-quality images. If you’re still interested, don’t hesitate to ask the advertiser for better quality images
  • A lack of information, such as no contact details
  • Advertisers that suggest unusual or unsafe payment methods 
  • Prices that are significantly lower than the average market value. Scammers will try to lure you in with attractive prices
  • Advertisers that ask for money in advance. Be sure of the seller’s credibility and the veracity of the ad/product first before considering
  • Beware of ads that direct you to another site. It could be a virus that can invade your computer or phone. Always check the address before clicking and never disclose personal information on sites you do not know

For more information on avoiding scammers, click here.

How to tell if an escort ad is genuine

As well as using the advice above to spot and avoid a fake escort ad, here are some ways to check if their ad is genuine:

Although we do our best to ensure all ads are genuine, finding ads that are age and photo verified by our partner Yoti will give you even more assurance that the ad you wish to contact is legit.

Always ask for as much information as possible about the product/service and find out more about the advertiser. 

The more information and data you get, the lower the risk of falling victim to a scam.

 

An age and photo verified escort ad on Vivastreet

How to identify scams via SMS & Email

If you’re a sex worker that advertises with us, you could or may have fallen victim to scammers via SMS or email.

For example, you may receive a text message or email asking to log in to your account, provide confirmation of data or personal information (e.g., bank details), or even make an alleged pending payment.

We would like to confirm that we do not send messages requesting this type of information or action from our customers. 

If you get a text message informing you that your profile has been suspended, this is not Vivastreet. Please note that our Customer Service team will most likely call you directly before blocking your account.

Always check that the phone number and email addresses are correct before responding. If in doubt, check with customer service.  

 

Serious woman looking at contents on her phone

How to report a scam

If you come across a suspicious ad, such as one that you believe to be a scam, abusing our services, or malicious, please notify us by pressing the ‘Report this ad’ button on their profile (see image below) and provide the relevant details.

Once we have been notified, we will investigate and work to check the legitimacy of this ad to see if it needs to be removed from our site.

We also encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of crime (fraud, theft, threats/blackmail) to report the issue to the police.

 

How to report a scam or ad on Vivastreet

Vivastreet actions against scams

Our goal is to provide a better experience for our users and customers. Therefore, we are constantly on the lookout for any suspicious ads.

We also work with our customers who report potential scams to help us get rid of scammers and provide an even safer platform for our users.

As mentioned earlier, we do not ask our customers for data or payment. If you are approached with these types of requests by people pretending to be representatives of Vivastreet, do not rush to send information or make any payments, and contact our Customer Service Centre directly.

You can also find more information on how to stay safe in our Help Centre.

 

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