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Am I Being Scammed?

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#1 gbrandon



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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:29 AM

I dont even know where to start..but Ill try.

I listed my camera system on ebay, I also listed it on here as well (http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=28970)

Today I got this email from a ebay member :


This member has a question for you.
Do not respond to the sender if this message requests that you complete the transaction outside of eBay. This type of offer is against eBay policy, may be fraudulent, and is not covered by buyer protection programs. Learn More <http://pages.ebay.co...ebay-sale.html> .
Dear gbrandon26,

Hi, I am a very serious buyer and am afraid of being scammed, I want to buy a cam through ebay and I was curious if I could get your phone number so I could call you about your camera? I need one for a project I am working on and am kinda last minute trying to get one in time. This is an expensive item and I would like to talk on the phone about it with a real person rather than through email, too many scammers on here. If you write me back with your number and a time, I will call, thanks! Here is my phone#, call me anytime 561-xxx-xxxx - Adam
- kzfproductions
Answer the question


So I call him up, and the conversation was the wierdest Ive ever had. Ill try to quote it from memory.

ME: Hi, is this Adam.
ADAM: yes, im adam.
ME: i got your email, im callilng because you had questions on my auction.
ADAM: yeah, which one was yours again? I emailed a few different people.
ME: item xxxxxxxxxx, the sony bluefin complete kit, with sony a1u camera.
ADAM: oh yeah, got it right here, what were you using that thing for?
ME: just casual videography in the ocean, filming on my diving trips.
ADAM: Thats cool, I have a saltwater tank at my house.
ME: *pause*. cool. You had a question about my auction?
ADAM: yeah, whats that little controller in one of your pictures? Is that some video game thing like a psp?
ME: no, its the remote monitor for the camera.
ADAM: how much did you pay for all that stuff?
ME: about 10k, (i broke it all down for him)
ADAM: you have reciepts for all of it?
ME: yeah, would you like me to send you a copy of my reciepts?
ADAM: nope, thats cool. Im a editor, my partner is a diver, hes the videographer, we buy cameras and then sell them after the job.
ME: oh, so you edit, nice. What program do you use?
ADAM: stutter...uh..well, it depends, lots of different ones.. i just bought a mac tower and I think the software im using is ..uhh..ends with pro or something.
ME: Final cut pro?
ADAM: yeah, thats it. is that a good program? Im just starting with it.
ME: yeah, its a great program.
ADAM: yeah, im just a college kid, im broke actually, after buying that mac and everything. Still need to buy the FInal cut pro.
ME: I see. hmm.. okay. so what kind of videography do you do?
ADAM: umm...well, lots of different stuff, it varies. What my company does is we buy a camera for every job we get, then sell all the gear right after. Sometimes we make money, sometimes we lose a bit. But thats how we do it, just buy a camera, shoot the job, then sell it all.
ME: Interesting, so what kind of jobe? like ??? can you give me a example?
ADAM: umm..yeah, uhh..different stuff, lots of it varies, just depends..yeah, uhh.. we just did a documentary on Buffalo soldiers.
Me: oh, interesting. (im thinking maybe he shoots porn? but then after his next statement I dont think the guys ever used a video camera in his life)
ADAM: so, I see this camera is about 4 years old, but I looked it up online and I saw a guy selling a more expensive camera to go buy one of these. Are they a really good camera?
ME: yeah, alot of videographers use them for B footage so they dont have to bring out their bigger camera, or bring this camera along for shots to go with the main camera their shooting with.
ADAM: *long , long pause* uhh...oh..thats uh... interesting. (I think he has no idea what b footage means)
ME: yeah, so anything else?
ADAM: so, what does b stock mean, your ad said the camera was b-stock.
ME: just means the camera could have been a demo, used and resold, fixed and resold, etc.
ADAM: oh, but it works right?
ME: yeah, absolutely. Any other questions?
ADAM: yeah, would you take 3,700?
ME: no, I have it on ebay for 4k, but it now for 5k. So no, i wouldnt. I might take $3,800 minimum.
ADAM: let me call you back in 5 min, I want to buy this camera, but need to ask my business partner.
ME: no problem..thanks..

5 minutes later my phone rings.

ME: hello?
ADAM: hey, its me adam, ill buy it, can you log into ebay, change the buy it now to $3,800?
ME: sure. (i then go to ebay and change it)
ADAM: cool, thanks. Just bought it, and doing paypal to you right now.
ME: okay, ill get it shipped as soon as paypal clears.
ADAM: actually, the money will be tied up until we are both happy, to prevent fraud, so you need to ship it to me. Just do 3 day instead of ground so it wont get beat up in freight. It shouldt be too much more., also, get a signature required and make sure you insure it. Ive been through all of this stuff and you need to protect yourself to make sure
your not going to get scammed.
ME: okay (red flashing lights are going off now in my head, yelling danger, danger)
ADAM: okay, so your going to send the tracking number as soon as it ships right?
ME: yep, i will email it to you tomorrow.
ADAM: thanks! looking forward to getting it.

So I log into paypal, see he made the payment, and yes, hes correct, since its a electronic item, and the fact I have less than 100 feedbacks, the funds are held for 21 days, but MAY be released by paypal if either he leaves positive feedback, or if the package was delivered, (fed ex, ups).
So im not sure whats going on, but I look on ebay for his username, which is r**f (thats really his username on ebay, the asteriks and all)
Hes got 58 feedbacks, and they are all camera systems or camera accessories. were talking $1,000 to $6,000 systems. And hes buying a system every week or so. And hes got 100 a+ feedback. SO i went and emailed every person I could that sold him something. Some items were removed, so I could no longer look at the sellers name, but I managed to email about 7 people. I then did a 411 lookup on the number he gave me, and its registered to a ADAM FOX, with a address. in florida, in the same city he lists in his shipping address. But this is where it gets wierd.

His ebay my world name is this:

eBay My World: kzfproductions( 58Feedback score is 50 to 99)

His shipping address is from paypal is as follows:

Ship to this address:

Devrolla Inc.
6586 Hypoluxo Road
Suite #168
Lake Worth, FL 33467
United States

So that gives me another red flag. I dont know much about ebay, but maybe your ebay world can be different than your username to bid?
Anyways, So now im thinking hes a scammer, maybe he jacked someones account and is trying to use it maliciously, so I send him this email from my ebay account (want to make sure I have records of our transaction):

Dear kzfproductions,

Hi Adam, thanks for you email, I understand your concern about fraud. Its a concern of mine as well. Im ready to ship my product, but am conerned about a couple of things.

1) I noticed you changed your ebay name recently. All your previous listing were under the name R**F.
Why did you change your name?

2)I see you want me to ship it to a business address, to a suite. This concerns me as its easy for someone to hang outside a suite inside a building and sign for a package, especially since you want me to address it as "Devrollo, Inc" , instead of your name. Is there any way you can send me a copy of your drivers license (you can blur out the number if your conerned about fraud), I just would like to make sure you are a real person with a real address. I also am going to call the city of Lake Worth, Florida tomorrow and make sure the business license for Devrolla Inc, has your name on it. As long as that checks out, I will feel alot better knowing this isnt a scam.

Thanks again, and hope to send this off soon!
You will be happy with it.

In the mean time, I get a email from one of the people he bought from, (and yes, I did consider that it could be a inside man for him, but I doubt it, thats just getting too paranoid)
Heres the email I got:

From User:
100.0% Positive Feedback
Member since Dec-08-05 in United States
Location: LA, United States

Dear gbrandon26,

I'm not sure what he buys the cameras for. He seems to buy up a lot of them and I suspect he either tries to resell them or something not sure. He seemed nice though and was helpful and made a smooth transaction and everything. I talked to him on the phone too. I was a little afraid that he was going to scam me, but I got the money and it's been two weeks since the transaction, and everything went well. The only hick-up is that he still hasn't left me feedback. He said he would as soon as he opened the box, and apparently the box is in his UPS store box and he's having some sort of trouble accessing it. I feel like maybe there's something more to it like he's a middle man for someone else's purchases, but whatever he does with them doesn't concern me as long as I got my money, which I did, and everything went through ebay so I was protected.I think maybe he tries to contact the person outside in order to try and get the best price instead of waiting it out and bidding. In my case I wasn't sure I'd get anything so I was happy. I don't think he's out to scam you. It's just a little strange, but everything worked out fine for me.
- ltlrat


So now, I ask you guys, what do you think? First Im sure hes a scammer, now he seems legit. What would you do?

Edited by gbrandon, 03 March 2009 - 12:33 AM.

#2 Giles


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:54 AM

I would say that something is VERY odd about this guy ... but from what I have known about ebay it shouldn't be possible to get scammed ?

If it was wouldn't it happen so much that the site was shut down. I do know this is the point of everything happening through ebay and not in private methods.

The part that bothered me is he says he is a broke college kid .. yet he has all this money to keep buying camera equipment ?? wtf ? I work and I couldn't afford to do that !
Also why say you are a broke college student one moment and then say .. What my company does is we buy a camera for every job we get, ... and let me ask my business partner.

that seems like lies as it is so contradictory but lies of reasons why he is buying the equipment doesn't mean he's scamming you either.

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#3 TheRealDrew


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 04:57 AM

If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck....

Could be legit, but based on the conversation you had and the email you received, well who knows. but it sounds duck like. At best I would guess the story you received was not true and that what information you received in the email may be really what is happening. But the other guy did not get paid yet and for some reason the buyer cannot get the box?

Double check eBay's policies about protection, think there is a $ cap and make sure you document exactly what is sent with the condition of the product if you decide to go ahead.

#4 ce4jesus


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:12 AM

That must be a new policy from paypal. In all of my 300+ deals I was never required to ship the product before funds were released into my account. I have never purchased anything for that amount so maybe that has something to do with it. I do know that paypal has buyer protection if you use their credit card and I've done that with larger purchases of over $100. The problem with holding the funds until he's "happy" means he can get the camera and never leave the feedback so you don't get the funds released. He shoots whatever it is he wants to shoot in the meantime and then sends you the camera back.
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#5 stewsmith


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:28 AM

i would have fuXX all to do with this. i was caught out a couple of years ago by a scammer. this is what happend to me.

i listed a brand new mobile phone for an auction with a buy it now price of 150

someone offered me the buy it now price of 150

the trnsaction was through paypal and the money went into our account.

we then get an email from someone nothing to do with the auction telling us that they had sold something to the person a couple of months ago and that it turns out that the transaction was not an authourised transaction and paypal want the 300 back, which was the amount the bidder had paid her for a play station3

my wife then made enquiries and paypal told her that everything was ok and that the money had cleared in our account and paypal would not be asking for it back.

as the money had cleared in our account we posted the mobile phone to the bidders address.

4 days later the bidder leaves positive feedback against the auction number

6 weeks later we get sent an email from paypal saying that it was an un authorised transaction and we owed paypal 150. we told then that we had asked this question to them before sending the item and we told them the information that we were told by themsleves. that no it is ok the money has cleared and we wont be asking for the money back. we asked why it was an unauthorised transaction and they said that they could not tell us and it could be that someone had used someone elses credit card details without permission.

we then checked with the person who had contacted us with their concerns as they had been duped into this scam on another item. the delivery address was exactly the same. i contacted the local police where i had sent the items and the were of no use at all. i told them that this was not the first time this had happend and that the person at the address was acting in a criminal manner and breaking the law.

we then had many emails and telephone calls with paypal who insisted that we owed them 150. we spoke to managers there who told us they would look into this and we were to await the outcome. the next telephone call i received was from a debt recovery agent who told me that i now owed them 150 and it had to be paid now or i would have to pay even more money for them to send balliffs around to take items from my house that they believed to be near to the value of 150.

needless to say i paid the amount as i didnt want anyone turning up at my house and confronting my wife who is usually there on her own as i work away from home.

ebay were of no use to us throughout this and said that they have nothing to do with paypal and are not any part of paypal.

ok is was only 150, and might not seem a lot of money, but it was my 150. the jerk who is doing this scam is getting free items, whether he is the actual owner of the credit card we did not ever find out as this information was never given to us, nor was our request to let us know if the credit card was registered at the delivery address.

just be careful, there are loads of tossers out there and sadly the system is not there to protect the innocent. we even argued that if the credit card owner was not the person who made the purchase then surely his credit card insurance should be the ones to re emberse them.


Edited by stewsmith, 03 March 2009 - 06:31 AM.

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#6 james


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:54 AM

Hopefully your haven't shipped it yet.

What payment methods did you list in your auction? You do not HAVE to use Paypal I hope because this thing where they withold the funds is new to me and I don't like the sound of it.

As the seller, you have all the power to protect yourself. You should get payment in full before you ship the item, in my opinion.

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#7 mcarey



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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:43 PM

I would be real cautious about this guy,If you still have the system for sale I am interested and wont play any games.
Pm me if it is still avalible,

#8 Scuba_SI


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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:10 PM

Paypal are Sh*theads!

I stopped using ebay due to being scammed as mentioned by Stew. As a seller you have very few rights.

Then last week i tried to send some money to our very own wetpixel... Paypal took the money from my account, but then held it in the system for fraud checks. So now i dont have the money and wetpixel dont have the money until i verify my address via mail or bank deposit... I think Paypal is implementing new 'security measures' to keep our money in their system for as long as possible to earn interest.

Basically Paypal get to do whatever they want and as they are an Internet Entity there's not a lot you can do about it, and the police don't care as 'it's not a real crime, it's on the internet'

In summary, avoid the transaction as if you're feeling unsure now, it will more than likely get worse.

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#9 Mike L

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:57 AM

Paypal definitely is making it harder to do business. We have been running a lot of items through our Ebay store, and the same thing. Due to not having 100 feedbacks, all funds are held 21 days before being released. This whole issue about being required to ship product, yet having the funds on hold is crap.

With regards to the Scam, have you heard anything back from Paypal yet about the card processing? Any flags from them regarding potential fraud? Ill keep my eye out for this guy when we list systems.
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#10 loftus


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Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:43 AM

One more little bitch about Paypal; I recently charged a Wetpixel trip balance on a Paypal credit card which was well within the credit limit. Unknown to me the credit limit had been cut to a third of the original amount (no notification) and of course the payment was declined. Card had always been paid on time and in full.
Unfortunately much of this is a sign of the economic times.
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#11 ralphy


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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:24 AM

There have been two instances that I know of where PayPal have subsequently taken back funds (some time after processing them) from sellers accounts on the basis of 'unauthorised transaction'; one one case it was three months later! I now only use PP for the deposit on any item I've sold, I do not trust them.

And I thought that eBay owned PayPal?


#12 Diverking


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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:16 PM

It does sound to me like you're being scammed, but then again I made you an offer for your equipment over on wetpixel, so my opinion is a little biased, lol... Anyway, if you decide not to sell your gear to this fellow (who acts and sounds really ducky, that's for sure), please consider selling it to yours truly :-)

Good luck, whatever you do!

#13 wolfeeldiver


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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:24 PM

My two cents: If you change the payment terms of your transaction,and request him to pay via a cashier's check, or bank check, do not assume that any such official looking check you receive is valid. Make sure any check you receive "clears" your bank, before shipping the item. It can take many days for the check to clear. Talk to your bank's "security officer" about any concerns, not a teller.

Edited by wolfeeldiver, 05 March 2009 - 10:26 PM.

#14 Steve Douglas

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:38 PM

I've had a couple of friends, each of them losing 2k each buying on ebay. Whether this guy is strange or not, if the check clears you're good to go. I wouldn't ever ship something until I knew absolutely that your bank has cleared the check. No way, no how.


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#15 Pre BC

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:19 PM

I can't imagine being able to add anything the advise you have already recieved. For those of us that are terrified of trading high ticket items on EBay, please let us know how it turns out!

I have had great luck with CraigsList... But, every transaction I have done has been a cashier's check in person.


#16 gbrandon



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Posted 14 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

Can a mod delete this thread?

Apparently, someone that was going to sell this guy a camera backed out after reading this post. The buyer is upset and is going to contest our sale with payapal if the post isnt removed.

My money is still in escrow with paypal since the buyer never left me positive feedback for our transaction, and now im in the 5 day waiting period after confirmed delivery for the funds to be released.

Edited by gbrandon, 14 March 2009 - 01:09 PM.

#17 james


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Posted 14 March 2009 - 01:56 PM


Before we do anything, can you let us know:

1) You shipped the housing and the buyer received it, and that is confirmed by the shipping company?

2) The buyer sent you payment?

If yes and yes, then all went well and it's not fair to the buyer for him to look bad. Although it doesn't look good that he is refusing to "let" you get the money you deserve if he in fact received your housing.

In other words: to the buyer, if you have an issue with Wetpixel, you should take it up with us. Please don't blame the buyer and if you received the goods, please make sure he gets the money he deserves.

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:00 PM

I don't think you understand, I paid for it through paypal, I have NO CONTROL over releasing the money from his paypal account. That is between him and paypal, I have no access to his account or anything. PayPal holds the money until they receive proof of delivery they release it after 3-5 days. They have their own security measures, I have nothing to do with them, I was about to leave him positive feedback until a seller backed out of a deal after reading this attack on my character. I do have a problem with this site and this post, and I demand this entire thread be deleted before I contact my attorneys. I have written a reponse I want you to read below. I also want to say that I am not particularly a fan of paypal but they are very secure, I paid for the item the day we spoke, I have NO ABILITY to release his funds, that happens through paypal. Sometimes they even hold them if they suspect the seller (he) is fraudulent. I will revice the negative I left him once this thread is deleted. I lost money, a lot, on a movie project thanks to this post trash tacking me.

This is Adam Fox, the victim of this public lynching. Well, I am glad you are all happy with yourselves, I have been on ebay for years with 0 negative feedback. GBrandon was NOT scammed as he will tell you. None of the conspiracy theories here are correct, you don't check with people on forums, you contact ebay and paypal. This is the first trash post I ever had against me in my entire life on ebay. We buy cameras for videography projects, when they are over we liquidate them to buy new cams for whatever is needed next (we reuse the same money on a credit card). I am the business end, my partner is the videographer, not only am I a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN, I am not a scammer. Even the mere implication caused someone whom I bought a camera from from backing out after reading this trash talk.

I must say I was hurt by the personal attacks, to prevent scams, I often try to get to know the person I am buying from. Yes, I mentioned I have a salt water tank, since Geoff Brandon used the equipment for underwater filming. I was trying to feel him out and find a common ground and make sure he was legitimate.
I believe Geoff Brandon is a legitimate person but very paranoid and when I threatened to dispute the transaction he threatened to fly out and kill me with his guns. So we are dealing with someone who is a little out there. Suffice it to say, you should all be ashamed of yourself for your quick to judge that I am a scammer without even checking me out. I HAVE PERFECT feedback, ask anyone of the many people I have bought cams from, one even wrote in here in support of me!
Paypal is very strict, they are VERY secure, they hold money to prevent potential scams. The longer they hold the money the less likely it is a fraudulent payment. Remember, if someone pays with a fraudulent payment, paypal is responsible. All GBrandon had to do was email my past customers who left me feedback on ebay and ask them, not post this insulting message to the world with all my info, address, name, conversation to mostly people who are unfamiliar with ebay.
If you want to check someone out, call ebay and paypal, if they tell you that person is legitimate they are liable. Accounts that are taken over are immediately within a day suspended and the money frozen, the reason I changed my ebay name was because I hated it, is that a crime? Also, the asterisks which GBrandon thought were part of my name are actually on all ebay names during the auction to protect the privacy of the buyer.

So, before you publicly lynch someone, think twice, NOT EVERYONE IS A SCAMMER! Buy through ebay and paypal and you will be safe if you follow their rules, they are ultimately responsible, financially and legally. Thank you everyone for your conspiracy theories about me using equipment to launder money and Lord knows what else you all said, you should be ashamed of yourselves. It is very hard to make enough money in this economy and I am trying to get out of a government job and back into school. Thanks for ruining my video project, because the buyer who backed out after reading this did so because of this post not understanding the situation. Twink twice before you trash someone, why not contact my previous transactions on my feedback and ask them directly? Why this public mock and attack? This post cost me financial loss and it accused me of being a scammer, low and behold I am not as people have written in and said and even the poster of this forum said that everything was Kosher. I regret I had to leave him a negative feedback but once this is removed I will revise the negative to a positive. I am not a bad guy, I am a good guy, I just can't understand why I was lynched, at least wait till you get scammed before you trash someone! You people hurt my video project, THANKS! I hope you all feel good about that and in the meantime Gbrandon has my money, I paid him instantly. Paypal may hold it but that is not my fault, they just cover their as*es, they release it once he shows them proof it was delivered. God Bless you all and I forgive you all for publicly lynching me.

To answer the MOD's question, Gbrandon was paid instantly and at that time I no longer had the money, his paypal account did. I don't have my finger on any button to release money from paypal, that is paypal's job. Sometimes they hold money because the seller (Gbrandon) does not sell high end stuff and want to make sure he is legit.

I got the cam, Gbrandon has the money in his paypal account, but be forwarned to this forum. Comply with Geoff Brandon's request to remove this post, he is ASKING you to and so am I. You have posted my personal information on a forum as well as defamed my character. eBay and Paypal can vouch that I am legitimate and not a scammer, you have caused me financial harm with this post. If this post is not removed, I will take legal action to be compensated for my loss of business and the assault on my reputation. I hate to make threats but who knows who else will find this and back out of a deal. I don't feel I should be obligated to share my business plans with the world. You know, people do like to steal your ideas and run with them, frankly, I don't like people know much about my projects.

As soon as this thread is deleted I will revise the negative feedback I left for Geoff Brandon to positive. This RUINED my video project!!! This cost me A LOT of money.

How would you all feel if someone tried, and convicted you, judge, jury and executioner publically for nothing! I await the deletion of this thread!

Thank you, otherwise I will be contacting my attorneys. This is a mutual request, Both buyer and seller have asked for the thread to be removed at this point.

#19 Probie



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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:56 PM


Boo Hoo :vava: The guy was just worried about his gear. There are that many scammers out there you'd be stupid to not worry these days.

Housings and gear don't grow on trees.

#20 segal3


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Posted 14 March 2009 - 08:23 PM

This thread is a discussion of the risks of selling on eBay, started by a seller attempting to ensure that he was entering into a legitimate transaction. This thread is not libelous or defamatory towards any person, and does not warrant removal. Wetpixel will especially not delete a forum discussion based on what could be construed as an unlawful threat.

With regard to privacy, phone numbers are marked only by area codes, and the address of an incorporated business is public record.

If the seller decides to update us in 5 days after his funds clear, then we may post an addendum, but, at this point in time, the thread is closed.
Matt Segal - carbonos scuba