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Old August 22nd, 2005, 09:36 PM   #1
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Robbed. Be careful on ebay.

Anyways, eBay had been kind to me so far. 30 succesful transactions, and not a single complaint.

Unfortunately, the camcorder market on eBay is sketchy. Uber sketchy. So when I recieved an extremely official looking e-mail from eBay, that was almost the exact same as e-mails I've seen from them before, I took the bait. The e-mail said I was covered up to 5000 GBP for the camera, made mention of various eBay policies and of course looked the shit.

In attempting to buy a Canon Gl2 off ebay, I got screwed over, big time.

So, after a few e-mails back and forth with the seller, I negotiated a price. The eBay e-mail pointed out that I was only covered through Western Union, so that's how I sent the money. Luckily, I only sent one payment that I'd negotiated of 250 GBP (600 CAD dollars) as opposed to the full amount (twice that). Of course at 16, this amount accounts for everything I had.

Anyway, after he confirmed recieving the payment, he stopped responding to my e-mails, and never provided a DHL tracking number like he said he would. I waited 5 days, and now after looking up his address on Google Earth (and some other websites) found out that it is an office complex that is commonly used as a listed address for internet scams. 2 Sheraton Street Soho, London, United Kingdom.

So, after consulting with some friends briefly, e-mailing a few of the offices in the building (one is a film company) and e-mailing e-bay, I called Western Union to find out about what I can do.

Sitting and waiting on hold, whilst being forced to listen to acid jazz is a hell of a lot more annoying when you're waiting to find out if you'll ever see your hard earned money (and in this case life savings) again.

Anyway, I have a fun night of gathering information planned. Tomorrow, I'm shooting some video storyboards with my PV GS70 after I finish on the phone with Scotland yard, Toronto Police, the FBI, National Fraud Information Centre and Canadian Phone Busters.

So, I guess in retrospect I should have gotten a phone number. To the folks reading this, don't let it happen to you.

Here are some tips:
1. Get a phone number... always.
2. Don't pay through anything other than paypal.
3. Don't let your transactions go out of ebay's site at any point.
4. Check out the address they give you before sending the money.
5. Just because an ebayer has a 40 positive feedback rating, doesn't mean he's legit.

Is there anyone here with any experience on the matter?

Gah. I think I've got enough info about this scumbag to get him caught: ebay account, gmail account, and a chance of a video of him picking up the cash from Western Union. Wish me luck.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 10:02 PM   #2
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Two things would have flagged it for me.

Western Union.
Phishing email from eBay. eBay does not send you an unsolicited email. Never ever. It is the most common phishing tactic out there.

Expensive lesson for you and if you do a little searching on this board you will see that the tactics are pretty well known. Your chances of getting any satisfaction are not good but I wish you well.

Thanks for letting us know how this particular scam went down.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 11:12 PM   #3
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mike, my friend, even paypal doesn't work. even after you do everything officially, use paypal, the scum seller could send you nothing in the box. paypal sides with the seller saying, "hey you signed for it and opened the box."

i just lost $270 this way for XF complete series set.

remember the old addage, if it's 2good to be true, it is!

anyway, i wouldn't buy anything over $500 over ebay.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 12:01 AM   #4
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This sort of fraud on Ebay is the reason why DV Info Net has authorized camera dealers for its sponsors, and a private classifieds forum for the sale of used items. We offer alternatives to Ebay... please use them.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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Here is one scam that is going around.

Scammers will look up the bidders on a particular camera i.e. VX2100 and when the auction is over they will send out "second chance offers" with all the official ebay looks. They will then offer the bidder the oportunity to buy another identical item at the bidder's price (that didn't win) and will direct him or her to go to a link to finish the deal. Usually it will state that they have something like $20,000 held in trust at ebay in case of problems.

The link will have something like "you need to send payment via Western Union" and other official ebay looking information including stuff about scams.

I traced a bogus offer given to me to England as well, even though the camera was being offered from Canada.

Rule of thumb...If you receive an second chance offer from ebay, and there are some legitimate ones, check them out closely and I mean closely. If there is a mention of "Western Union" or similar payment method-RED LIGHT! Send an email to the actual seller's email address via ebay to verify it is the same person. Finally, there are a lot of great deals to be found on ebay but you must be very careful as there are people out there just trying to find ways of separating us from our money.

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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Thompson
If you receive an second chance offer from ebay, and there are some legitimate ones...
Actually there are never any legitimate second-chance offers from Ebay, because Ebay strongly prohibits that practice. Such offers are a violation of Ebay's terms of service.

It sounds like some folks here have not read our DV Info Net article, "How Not To Get Scammed On Ebay," by Dylan Couper. All of the most common tactics have been explained therein. The link to the article is:

http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/buyersguide/ebay.php

Hope this helps,
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
mike, my friend, even paypal doesn't work. even after you do everything officially, use paypal, the scum seller could send you nothing in the box. paypal sides with the seller saying, "hey you signed for it and opened the box."

i just lost $270 this way for XF complete series set.

remember the old addage, if it's 2good to be true, it is!

anyway, i wouldn't buy anything over $500 over ebay.
I've bought and sold lots of stuff over ebay, for a lot more than $500. Part of it is due diligence and part is gut feeling.

As far as Paypal, I don't know why you lost $270 as that doesn't sound at all in line with what I've seen and experienced from them: full reimbursement per their insurance policy thing. In the event of an empty box, that one is easy to circument, as the recorded shipping weight of the box would be a giveaway.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 06:37 AM   #8
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Bill, the seller could have put paper or something in the box, so it still had weight. But it still would have been 'empty'.

I buyed an XL1s via Ebay, but only because I knew the seller from these boards (Dennis Hingsberg).
Otherwise I wouldn't have done it. So it was expensive, but I got the camera, all the way from Canada (I live in Belgium - he used the PAL model too) and he helped me out very much and answered all my (concerned - because it was the first time I buyed something via internet, and so expensive too) questions very friendly.

And I have to say, I got 2 or 3 mails from people who said they had an Xl1s too. I didn't trust it, because they said like: mail me back, not at this adres, but at this other one. So I thought: I WILL mail back at that adres, against their will, and then it appeared it was a stolen adres or something, because I got a mail back from the person that had the first email adres and didn't know about anything.

It is always kind of tricky.
I don't have PAYPAL, so I always have to pay via a bank transfer, but I only buy with people who have many (and I mean, really many) good feedback, and almost no negative ones. But I wouldn't buy something very expensive from Ebay, unless it's from Belgium (where I can check it out, or The Netherlands), or if it's from someone from these boards.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:20 AM   #9
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i've bought and sold lots as well, but this particular case, i filed complaints with:

1. paypal itself, they closed my claim and wouldn't return my $.
2. ebay itself, no resolution yet.
3. FBI's Internet scam dept.
4. local PD.
5. small claims court.

none of it worked. do you think it was worth my time for a mere $270? my time spent on filing all those paperworks, legworks is worth MORE than $270. so i'm giving up now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Porter
I've bought and sold lots of stuff over ebay, for a lot more than $500. Part of it is due diligence and part is gut feeling.

As far as Paypal, I don't know why you lost $270 as that doesn't sound at all in line with what I've seen and experienced from them: full reimbursement per their insurance policy thing. In the event of an empty box, that one is easy to circument, as the recorded shipping weight of the box would be a giveaway.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:23 AM   #10
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that's dangerous because fake accounts can accumulate 20,000 feedbacks all positive from the same seller having multiple accounts giving himself good feedback on fake sales. that's what happened to me. it seemed to me he had good feedback. it's all a charade.

"use the Force, Luke, trust your instincts.". if more people listened to OB1, the world would a safer place =).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
I don't have PAYPAL, so I always have to pay via a bank transfer, but I only buy with people who have many (and I mean, really many) good feedback, and almost no negative ones. But I wouldn't buy something very expensive from Ebay, unless it's from Belgium (where I can check it out, or The Netherlands), or if it's from someone from these boards.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 04:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
i've bought and sold lots as well, but this particular case, i filed complaints with:

1. paypal itself, they closed my claim and wouldn't return my $.
2. ebay itself, no resolution yet.
3. FBI's Internet scam dept.
4. local PD.
5. small claims court.

none of it worked. do you think it was worth my time for a mere $270? my time spent on filing all those paperworks, legworks is worth MORE than $270. so i'm giving up now.
Sorry for your loss but that seems strange to me that I have seen Paypal refund claims a lot more than $270.

Also how can you file a complaint with small claims court? Either you took him to court or you didn't. And calling the PD does nothing at all for civil matters like this. Even ebay can't do anything, only Paypal.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 05:55 PM   #12
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Ebay is just like everything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it is! If you fall for one of the scams, 98% of the time you should have known better, period. Buyer beware, but you have more chances of being ripped off in many other areas. And, there is such a thing as second chances. This happens when an item didn't reach the reserve and when the winner didn't pay. They can be legit, just use you common sense if it exists anymore. My opinion, common sense is not so common anymore, in fact it is rare.

Use your head.

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Old August 23rd, 2005, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Is there anyone here with any experience on the matter?
Similar experience on a Canon XL1s. You won't get your money back.

eBay has no mechanism for dealing with people intent on scamming. If the person who sells is a real person, eBay may or may not give them some grief - but if they are dishonest, eBay has no power. Furthermore, you are never going to be able to talk to an actual person at eBay because they have no phone. Finally, eBay makes plenty of cash on fees for fraudulent auctions.

Western Union will tell you that they did their service. Of course, Western Union didn't tell you at the desk when you bought the money order that such orders are absolutely not to be used for eBay payments - but then again, Western Union doesn't consider it their responsibility to minimize fraud via their payment mechanisms. After all - Western Union made a tidy profit on that money order too.

-Steve
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 06:40 PM   #14
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Well, every organization I've spoken to so far has been very discouraging. The woman at phone busters told me a picture of the culprit would be useless, but I figure if he's done it once, he'll do it again.

Anyway, I'm not so much pissed off about the money, it's the fact that I've wasted a month and now my film is behind schedule, and I can't do the effects I want that camera for.

I might buy the camera and make monthly payments for the next year from downtown camera because I still need to use it. Buying from B&H would probably be my best option if they did have financing options.

Anyone know any good places to get a GL2 in Toronto?
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 06:42 PM   #15
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If money is the problem, could renting it help that situation?
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