We have recently been made aware of several scams being successfully perpetrated via the private messaging system. These scammers are registering to the forum, never making any posts, and sending dozens of phishing PMs to several legitimate users looking to buy/sell goods. Once the bank transfer is completed there is no recourse, and because all of this occurs out of our sight this type of scam is impossible for us to guard against without taking pro-active measures.

In order to provide everyone a searchable history of member participation in the community you must now have at least 10 posts before private messaging becomes available. We realize that this undoubtedly causes some minor inconvenience, however, this move accomplishes 2 things which dramatically negate the effectiveness of this type of scam with such a low barrier to entry. It increases the amount of time and effort 10 fold that a scammer has to put forth before his first attempt so the majority will likely give up or move on to a different platform, and for those few remaining a paper trail of data is captured to cross reference against search engines.

We at AF1 loathe scammers and we feel that a temporary roadblock was warranted to help protect the community. Moving forward, all legitimate members will need to contribute is at least 10 posts to the forum and private messaging will be enabled withing the hour. We appreciate your understanding and participation.