Its sad that scams happen.
I think despite all the warning signs, it will continue to happen.
scams are all based on greed (you think you are getting the deal of the century or you are getting a large sum of money from a nigerian prince. etc), and FOMO (fear of missing out)
unless you can afford to take the risk to lose the money, its never worth it.
scammers are psychopaths and have no conscience. From their point of view, the victims deserve to be scammed because they don't know any better.
It does happen.. I know it has happened more than a few times on the reef forums. I believe it is actually a big crime too because I think it is considered mail fraud.
Anyone who has done it should be hung to dry and we should be told so this person does not do it to others.. I know it happened on the forums several years ago and the community worked together to catch the guy and the police knocked on his door.
Forums record IP addresses and through this you can track most people down. All ip addresses are registered and all isp keep logs now. I know there are ways around it but most reef forum crooks do not do this.
Also what I can tell from all my years on forums it happens more with livestock than dry goods. with the hobby prices rising we will start to see more of it too..
Someone puts up a expensive coral like the Walt Disney and it never shows up..
Our LFS just got ripped off, the guy walked out with some product and the store posted the video on facebook and sure enough they figured out who it was and the guy returned it.