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14n for $3,000?!?!?

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The guys email also lacks what I would call normal english. (although I am sure mine does also sometimes) It just does not seem to flow as I would expect it to from someone in the US with legit access to a camera of that type.


Although I clearly note you are playing with this guy now. Maybe we should all start flooding his email account and send it out to any telemarketing website we can find. Might keep him busy for awhile. :rolleyes:

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I like the way he says "This is not discussed here" and "this will not be a problem for you." LOL!


Thanks for the laugh Marc.




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The saga continues with Tom the seller.


I e-mail Tom telling him I had a very good friend that lives in Texas that wanted one of his cameras. I was even willing to lay out the cash for both cameras but would rather have him make his own deal with my friend directly. I also ask him why is auction had ended early.


Tom’s reply:


“I have ended the auction because I thought that I have found the best buyer but he is a scam artist from Indonesia. The camera is still available and ready to be shipped. Sorry for your friend but I have only one available on the stock right now.

1. Email me back if you are still interested.



I’d really like to stick it to this guy some way.


My friend in Texas, sounds like you James.

Here’s his e-mail address if you’d like to pull his chain a little.




PS Tom just e-mail me:


"So you are interested or not ?"


The pressure is on !

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MSNBC has an article 'Interview with a Scammer" sort of thing that details the rip off. Mainly they use stolen EBay ids.





I was the victim recently of someone stealing my EBay id. (I had a whole 10 transactions on my feedback, not sure why someone would want it.) I had not responded to any emails asking for my id info either.


What's bad is that EBay allows change of emails associated with the id without verifying them first. They only send an email saying "Congratulations, someone changed your email address, if you disagree write us." Instead of sending an email that says you must reply to activate the change.


To their credit, when I wrote immediately, they caught the guy and fixed my account. I changed all passwords, there and on PayPal, Yahoo and other associated sites. Scary.


I always ask and give my phone number out. I don't know why EBay doesn't require it, as most people can be figured out with a phone call.



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In the past three months or so, I have received three emails from "aw-confirm@ebay.com" asking me to confirm my eBay user ID and password.


The message says:


"For security reasons please re-enter your Customer ID and password. This is a security check that we have introduced to improve our customers security. eBay is committed to providing you with the highest quality, most convenient and secure shopping experience on the Internet."


It looks perfectly authentic, including the eBay logos. I'm wise to them, but I can imagine that many people fall for this scam and allow these thieves to get their ID and password.


So many crooks...

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Excellent article link Jack - thanks!


Buyer beware. In case you've never sold anything on Ebay - the seller takes literally NO risk while the buyer takes it all. So after you "win" an auction, talk to the person on the phone first. Check out their address, etc.




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Offer to come pick it up and bring cash.


If he refuses, you've got your answer. Report the entire chain of emails to eBAY.


My BS detector is SCREAMING right about now.

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" the seller takes literally NO risk "


Unless the buyer pays with Paypal via a credit card.

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Nikon D1H D1X

Canon EOS 1Ds 10D Digital Rebel

Kodak DCS 14n Pro

and Other High-End Digital Camera





Signs of a SCAM:

Price WAY TOO LOW to be true. For example, the EOS 1Ds sells in retail camera stores for around $8,000. Scam auctions will have a "Buy it Now!" for $1,250, $2,000, $3500 or some other ridiculously low figure, usually less than half the real price.

Everyone loves a bargain, that's why many of us frequent eBay.


But when you see auctions for cameras and other expensive merchandise that end up selling for near the retail price, you should wonder why one or more sellers are asking half that price or less, especially with "Buy it Now!" Are these sellers simply naive or uninformed about the real value of the item, or are they setting a trap for a buyer?


After a Search for a particular items, it's often helpful to click on "Completed items" in the upper left column area of a Search results page to see how much most similar items have sold for.



"Pre-Approved Bidders Only, Email Seller to be put on bidding list."

Email seller to be put on SUCKER LIST, it should say. Most times, the seller will offer to "sell" you the camera outside of eBay, which is illegal by eBay's TOS [Terms of Service]. At other times, the "seller" may say that you're "protected by eBay's warranty." Well, the eBay warranty is only for a maximum of $500, and these auctions are usually for at least twice that.


Evidently one of the scammers complained to eBay that this warning auction wasn’t selling anything, so eBay cancelled it, took this page down and sent me a notice to that effect. But it’s back by popular demand!


This auction is for the information presented on this page.


I’ve also changed this to be a “Pre-Approved Bidders Only” auction, just as many of the scam auctions are.


One crook was offering to sell me a camera after the auction had ended and someone else had "won." I emailed the "seller" and told him to check his email and the auction page, but he continued to make the offer better and better. I then emailed the auction winner, who told me that the seller had given him the same cock-and-bull story about having a sick sister in Rome who needed an operation, so the money had to be wired there immediately. Not only didn't he have the camera, he was offering the same nonexistent item to more than one person at a time.


He later started referring to the "laptop" he was selling, evidently that was another scam he had going and he forgot what he was supposed to be "selling" to me!



Will only accept payments by Money Order, Cashier's Check, Western Union or other easily-cashable -- but difficult if not impossible to trace -- means. Will not accept Bidpay, PayPal, an eBay-recommended escrow service or other secure means through which you can dispute a transaction and withhold payment.

The seller with the "sick sister" said he couldn't accept PayPal because the payment site was in Italy. I looked around PayPal and found they will transfer money in Euros, the common currency of the European Union [including Italy] and informed him of this. He then gave another version of the story, his sister was now dying, and again insisting that the money had to be sent immediately and only via Western Union.



Possible, but implausible "cover stories" about why the item is being sold so cheaply: Needs money to pay for an operation for a relative/friend, used once for a photo shoot, now needs to sell, bought in a Customs auction after it had been seized, etc., etc., etc.

None of these stories are true. The more fanciful ones may actually be quite amusing.


Legitimate sellers also need to be careful about buyers in Indonesia, etc., who want to pay you through a credit card. There have been quite a few of these scams... in fact, I got an email offering to "buy" this auction's "goods" for twice the BIN price. There isn't any Buy It Now price on this "auction! It's amazing how dumb and how brazen crooks can be!




"Stock" photos and descriptions downloaded from camera web sites, not photos of the actual item for sale.


Won't give you Serial Numbers of the camera(s) "for sale."

Almost all cameras today have the serial number on the outside of the original box, so there's no reason to refuse to give it to you, except that the seller doesn't actually have any cameras. Ask the seller to photograph the outside of the box showing the serial number and email the photo to you. But don't be surprised if he has an excuse as to why he can't do so. If they just email you a number without a photo, you can get a toll-free telephone number for camera maker/importer and contact them to verify that a given serial number is valid [call 1 800 555 1212 and ask the operator for Nikon, Canon, Kodak, whatever headquarters toll-free number].



If current transactions are available in the member name's Feedback file [available by clicking on the number in parentheses after the member name], you may find a history of buying and selling items worth a few dollars or less [click on the blue links to the right on the Feedback page].

Then, suddenly, this "seller" has several multi-thousand-dollar cameras for sale.


Often, as mentioned elsewhere, the feedback you can read may not even belong to the "seller" -- someone else's eBay account, with good feedback, may have been "hijacked." Unfortunately, there's no easy way to verify this, but see below about researching a seller's eBay ID.


Another trick is to sell several inexpensive goods [or pretend to sell them] to establish small amounts of Positive feedback. "Buying" can be done by a friend or even by the "seller" himself, simply to have good feedback showing. I would advise you to be very careful if you find a seller with very few feedbacks, and those only for items costing a few dollars, now selling one or more very expensive items.




Seller in a foreign country, although he/she can also claim to be in the U.S., or need the money sent via Western Union or other easily-cashable method. See above about the "sister in Rome, Italy."


Member's info not available when trying to use the "Find Members" function [at the top of eBay Search results pages and elsewhere] and enter the item number and seller ID to actually get information back. This is a tip-off that the seller has "stolen" someone else's eBay identity. This happens all too frequently when someone with an eBay account receives a perfectly-legitimate-looking email, complete with eBay logos and links to real eBay pages, and is asked to to "verify" their eBay username, password and ID, address, etc. Similar fake emails have been used to gather bank account and credit card info. This process is called "phishing" [pronounced, “fishing”].

What to do: Copy the item number and seller's ID and use the Find Members function, "User ID History," "Contact Info," and "Request User ID" fields to try to find information on the seller.


One "seller" I contacted had changed his ID five times in two months, attempting to escape detection.


Another real eBay user, whose REAL email address I was able to get [the "seller" in the auction used two different addresses, neither of which matched what I got from the Find Members section] told me that his account and original email address had been hijacked recently, and he had just been able to get eBay to accept his new email address after several weeks of complaining and asking for help.



Refusal to accept Escrow transactions, Credit card, BidPay, PayPal or other secure payments that you can dispute.

Legitimate escrow is a way of protecting both buyer and seller. The buyer sends his money to a trusted escrow firm; the seller is then notified to send the merchandise. When the buyer gets and accepts the item, he notifies the escrow firm, which then pays the seller. If the buyer doesn't accept the item, the money is not released unless he fails to respond to the escrow firm's questions about receiving the item, in which case the money may be released to the seller. There are fees for this service, based on the selling price, but if the buyer is willing to pay these to ensure a safe transaction, the seller should have no reason to refuse escrow. See eBay's Escrow Information .


BUT BEWARE OF PHONY ESCROW SITES! Use only eBay-recommended or other well-known sites that have been in business for years, such as escrow.com . Scammers have been known to set up phony "escrow" sites to steal your credit card and/or bank account information so they can transfer all your funds to themselves.


Here’s where to check out whether an escrow site is legitimate or not: http://www.sos4auctions.com/Information.htm


I've been emailing several of these crooks to see how they operate. When I brought up the topic of escrow for such an expensive item [one crook wanted to "sell" me a Canon EOS 1Ds for $3400, less than half of what it actually costs], he said he wouldn't go for it because he had been "f**ked over" by using escrow in the past.


When I then wrote that I didn't understand that, because my money would already have been sent and waiting for him at escrow.com [one of eBay's recommended firms] before I could even receive the camera and that all he had to do was send me the camera and I would notify the escrow firm to release the money, he wouldn't reply to my question.


I then wrote that I had tons of frequent-flyer miles and travel all over the country and that I would come to him and buy the camera in person [true], "Just tell me where you are so I can arrange a trip and rental car." I got no more emails after that.


No reputable seller of truly expensive goods should have a good reason for refusing to accept escrow or another method of payment [Credit card and/or PayPal, BidPay OR any other easily-traceable and secure method] so that the buyer will have some assurance that he/she will actually get the merchandise.


PayPal charges fees that can add up to quite a bit on an expensive item, so there's actually a reason for sellers not to want to take Credit card payments through them, but you can also make PayPal payments through a bank account, and you can buy "insurance" through PayPal against fraud [not getting anything for your money] or defective merchandise.



Scammers often use broken English, resembling what you typically find in the Nigerian spam/scam emails that promise a few million dollars for you if you'll just help General Mumbo-Jumbo of Nigeria or some other third-world country to slip his multi-millions or billions into the U.S. illegally.


The scammers may also refer to you as "My Dear Sir," "Dear Esteemed Friend," and other odd phrases, multiple times in the same message.



Further "Tip-offs" to a SCAM:


Multiple eBay IDs, not a registered user status, user suspended status, and past unusual number of auction cancellations.


New user or user with new I.D.


More common with electronics, computer-related, and digital photography.


Feedback as buyer only or for low-cost sales, which result in lots of positive feedback prior to offering high-cost items for sale.


Selling items which are in high demand and very desirable, causing bidders to be less cautious and more anxious to get the item at a low price.


Private auction with no access to bidder I.D. s.


Buy-it-Now! price or reserve significantly lower than for comparable items from other sellers.


Unusual willingness to cancel the auction and sell the item outside of eBay.


Does not accept usual forms of payment but may give an excuse for not using these and insists on wire transfer through Western Union or from your bank account.


Use of a P.O. box rather than a home or business address or will not provide home or business address.

In short, ASK HONEST QUESTIONS and don't be afraid to INSIST on full and COMPLETE information if you're going to send someone you've never met -- and don't know from Adam -- lots of your hard-earned cash.


What you can do to help fight fraud on eBay: You can report suspected fraud auctions at http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/rfe-sp...-ebay-sale.html


If you get an email offering to sell you an item outside of eBay, Forward the email to rswebhelp@ebay.com


Further info: Where are all these scammers located? Most are in third-world countries. Romania is evidently a hotbed of computer-savvy scammers. Here's a newspaper story about Romania and why it's become a center for Internet crime.


This auction is for the information presented on this page, alerting camera buyers and buyers of other expensive merchandise to scams often listed on eBay [computers, antique coins, jewelry, antique dolls, etc., to name only a few] . I hope it will be found useful.



Sal Bono

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Hi Sal,

Thanks for sharing your experience with all the members.


My seller stopped communicating with me right after I told him I could pick up the camera and pay him the cash. He did how ever send me several pictures of a Kodak 14n box that looked to be on the front seat of a car. Anyway I was just playing with him for the benefit of the Forum.


Back in June I won a very inexpensive auction of $20.for some 60 rolls of double backed 3M tape. I use this tape a lot and it was a great deal. The seller had a great feed back record with no negatives at all. I won the auction and sent the money and never received the tape. I kept e-mailing the seller with no response. Finally after 60 days went by the seller e-mail me saying she had gone on vacation and she had forgot to send out the item. Not to worry it was on it’s way and I could expect it by the following Thursday, Thursday came and went, No tape. More e-mails to the seller with no answers to them. I finally checked out the sellers other auctions for sale and wouldn’t you know, she was selling the same tape again. I than contacted E Bay with my complaint and forwarded all the e-mails between us. E-Bay responded with they would look into the complaint and would get back to me. It’s now been two months since I contacted E-Bay and they have still not responded to me. So my point is, don’t hold your breath if you think that E-bay is coming to your rescue. I learned a cheap lesson here and I only use my Pay Pal account or my credit card so their is some sort of recourse if this happens again.




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