The Validation Process and the benefits of membership.
Why is validation necessary?
In recent years, and in common with every other free site, fraudsters had appeard and were creating fraudulent adverts as well as spamming multiple advertisers with the obvious intention of fraud.
Most fake ads were intercepted by myself before anyone else saw them, but some did get through to the users. The fraudsters were/are getting better and better at it.
Ive actually lost count now, of the number of fraudulent adverts manually deleted, its been hundreds. It really started in 2015 when 4 police reports had to be made. In 2016, this rose to 8 reports, and Just in January 2017, there were Two more. I was also served a court summons as a witness, on another matter related to the site, which fortunately I did not have to attend, however I was getting very disheartened. The Authorities seem to be unable to deal with this wide ranging issue, essentially leaving it for individual websites to deal with. A very unsatisfactory situation to say the least.
After expermenting with numerous free ways, I reluctantly decided that the only way to stop the fraudsters was to introduce a £10.00 registration fee for advertisers, chich gives them their complimentaty advertising credits and a £1.00 fee for enquirers only.
I am very pleased to say, that the fraudsters have now moved on to softer targets, as, to my knowlege, I have not had a single scammer since.
The process begins at the account creation page, where you are required to complete the registration form, with your name, physical address, and a valid e mail address.
You will be sent an e mail, via a well respected transactional e-mail service from Mail Chimp, the service,
called Mandrill, is both secure and reliable. E mails are sent immediately, there should only be a short delay before you actually receive it.
If you use a service like Google mail, please remember, that they do not always deliver mail immediately. Sometimes it can take a few hours before getting to your inbox.
There is also in place, e mail verification systems, most e mails will not be marked as spam, however, if you cant find an e mail you were expecting from afors, please check your spam folder as it could be there.
Other common causes of not receiving an e mail, is that you may have typed it incorrectly in the first place, afors will then send to a non existent address. Thats why there are two fields for the same e mail, to try and catch some of that.
Within the e-mail sent out, is a link, with a unique code attached. Upon receipt of the e mail, you will need to click through on the validation link, this process simply confirms that the e mail address is valid and can receive e-mails from the afors system.
If you signed up as an advertiser, Immediately upon confirmation of this e-mail, three complimentary advertising credits will be allocated to your account.
This wil allow you to create an advert with immediate effect. There is no need to wait for the next step, which is address validation, via a real physical post card.
However your advert will be marked as " ** Validation Pending ** until you enter that validation code".
The next step in the process, is that the system will automatically generate and post a real post card, delivered to your letterbox, with another unique code on it. In the UK this is sent Second class, and for the rest of the world, it has to go by air mail, which costs 80p
When you receive the post card, you should enter the code into your account on afors. This will have the effect of marking any ads you made with "address validated".
In addition, the system will update your account with a further 2 paid credits, which you can use at your discretion.
The benefits of becoming fully validated.
On becoming 'fully validated', you will receive up to 3 complimentary credits every 30 days. The credits are not cumulative.
So you will have a maximum of 3 complimentary credits at any one time.
This will allow you to place additional adverts or have advert refreshes every now and then, this is usually enough for most people.
In addition. you can create "alerts" from your user control panel, each alert uses one credit. The system will e mail you when an ad is placed matching your alert
Any adverts you place will be marked as " ** Validated User ** ".
You will aso be allowed to contact other advertisers freely, using the Private message system.
You may have noticed, that afors, is served up via an encrypted protocol (https://), this means, that the security of the site has been stepped up, communications via the site are very secure.
There is a Private Messaging Section, where users can communicate in a secure manner.
The password filed in the afors database, is encrypted with a one way algorithm, meaning no-one, not even me, can figure out what the password is
afors, will not reveal your e mail, or address to any third parties, unless directed to by the legal authorities. But you can if you wish enter it on your advert, its up to you, but its not recommended.
Thanks and enjoyAlex