Beware – Lost and Found Policy
Offering a Reward For Your Lost Items? Beware of Scammers! Deal Safely!
Let the Rightful Owner Beware
Did you know lost and found can lead to scams? When you lose a valuable item, you would probably do anything to find them, including offering a reward. However, it is in this time of stress and sadness that you could be the target of a lost and found scam. As with any scam, variations on the concept are numerous, so be cautious. No matter what, never give rewards to someone until you actually have your lost items back in your possession. The rightful owner is thus responsible to make sure that the lost items they are recovering back is what they expect it to be. Therefore, due diligence becomes an integral part of the lost and found process.
Conduct Due Diligence
Regardless of what lost and found transactions, it is important that you as the rightful owner is sure of what you are getting into by conducting due diligence. Due diligence, as the name suggests, is a detailed appraisal that reviews all relevant information related to lost and found, especially in the context of item return and reward issues. Therefore, the due diligence should be done thoroughly, leaving no hidden unpleasant transactions.
While this due diligence process will give you a clear idea of the whole lost and found process, it also flags up existing or potential negative aspects of a lost and found transaction. Getting to know what is wrong / what are the hidden risk will help you to make better decision. You will have a better and clearer picture of the lost and found process you are entering into – after the thorough due diligence process.
Hence, do not be afraid to ask for verifications such as the identifying mark or feature of your lost item to ascertain the credibility and ensure the finder has actually found your lost item and is not trying to scam you – it’s unfortunate, but it does happen sometimes. While that should not stop you from dealing with them, be vigilant and do not continue with the deal if the finder behaves suspiciously, which could lead to potential scam. Do your due diligence!
Lost and Found Rewards will not be responsible for the transaction and condition of the lost items returned.
Seek Professional Advice
It is important to obtain professional advice and help from lawyers when carrying out due diligence, so as to avoid suffering of any negative consequences at later stage.
You may want to seek professional advice as to if offering rewards and the reasonable monetary amount for the safe return of your lost items is really necessary.
Ask Yourself: Is It The Correct Item?
Another thing to look out for is the item the correct item that you have lost? If you think the item recovered is not what you expected, conduct the due diligence to find out if there is any red flag. It is even more important to check the condition of the item recovered before offering any rewards.
Long story short, it is important to get the independent advice when you are entering into a lost and found transaction. Beware of scammers who prey on people who have lost their valuable items! Don’t fall prey to scams!
Precautions You Can Take To Avoid Scams
# 1 Arrange A Physical Meet Up
A physical meet up is a good way to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the transaction and to resolve any potential issue on the spot. It is also a good idea to meet at a public place with sufficient human traffic for your own safety. If you need a safer venue, consider meeting up at meet in well-lit, public places such as shopping malls as these places are monitored by surveillance cameras and security officers in the mall, which provide additional evidence in the event of disputes. If finder refuses meet up and insisted to have the item delivered on the condition that you are willing to bear the delivery cost, use a tracked parcel service which offer compensation per shipment in the event the parcel is lost during delivery. If the item value is higher, you may also want to increase the liability coverage of the parcel.
# 2 Check Item’s Condition Upon Recovery
Ensuring the returned item in it’s original condition is important. It is possible that the item may be defected/damaged by the finder deliberately or unintentionally and yet returning the item in hope of a reward. Check the item to ensure that all aspects of the deal are in good order. Conducting a check on the item’s condition in such instances can protect you from becoming a victim of scams.
# 3 Establish Upfront Lost and Found Conditions
As stated explicitly, every deal on Lost and Found Rewards is considered a private agreement between you (rightful owner) and the finder. Lost and Found Rewards will not be responsible for the transaction and condition of the lost items returned. Hence it is advisable to communicate the lost and found conditions upfront before the transaction takes place, to avoid any kind of unreasonable dispute. For example, you can state that the item must be returned in it’s original condition, etc. Since the lost and found conditions were clearly stated and agreed upon before the transaction, it will prevent situations where the finder demands a reward for item’s condition that is not reasonably expected.
# 4 Never Divulge Your Personal Details
Never divulge sensitive personal information, even if the finder appears legit and genuine. Examples of sensitive information are such as your full name, identity card number, mobile number and home address. Keep your conversation within the communicated platform such as email as far as possible. It is strongly recommend not to bring communication outside of the email platform, so that all records of your transactions are kept within email and can be retrieved should there be a need to. This is also to prevent any potential harassment from unscrupulous finders, such as spam calls or unwanted visits. Scams can be avoided with greater awareness. Taking the appropriate precautions can help reduce the occurrence of one falling prey to scams. It is important to exercise caution and protect yourself from scams!