Anyone ripped off here? Advise please.

Discussion in '[Classifieds] Feedback, News & Discussion' started by RichardJack, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. RichardJack

    RichardJack Subscriber

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    Hi,
    Several weeks ago I posted in "wanted to buy", was contacted, he had what I wanted. I sent him a Postal MO and never got the item nor does he reply to emails.
    It's my own fault, he didn't want to use paypal that should of set up a red flag, but I thought only members here could see my email and I thought this was safe with honest members.
    It's only $110, but it pisses me off that someone would do this. I contacted APUG support and they never replied. I am going to the post office and see if they can track the MO.
    How do I do a member search here? Hopefully by their email?

    Has anyone been through this and has any advice (other than don't do this again)?
    thanks
    Richard
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Who is he?
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I am sorry to hear that. I have never had a problem on APUG.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I may not have seen your support request yet due to the holidays. I'll contact you now..

    Sean
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    This may be redundant in that within an hour or so there will be many better replies but I always thought that anyone responding to a wanted ad had to be a subscriber which cuts down the list considerably. If you know the user name then the Mods and/or Sean should be able to help. I am not sure that until the full circumstances of the non-fulfilment of this transaction is known to the interested parties that giving us the name in public is helpful at this stage

    pentaxuser
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Someone responding to a WTB ad does not need to be a subscriber. One needs to be a subscriber to post an ad of any type. If you would like to deal only with subscribers, however, there's nothing that says you can't, as all transactions through the classifieds are private agreements between the individuals involved.

    While APUG can't take responsibility for transactions that don't work out for whatever reason, those are pretty rare, so we'll usually look into them, and in most cases, we've been able to resolve them.

    In general, it's a good idea to be wary of trading with anyone who doesn't have a reputation to uphold on the forum. Someone who just joined and responds to a WTB ad is riskier than someone who has a long history on APUG. In the cases where there's someone who has a history but doesn't make good on their obligations, we usually have found it more to be a matter of ineptness than dishonesty, and those cases usually work out positively, even if they require a bit more effort and intervention on the part of the moderators. If it's someone who isn't a regular participant, however, then you might have to fall back on measures like working through your credit card (if you paid by credit card), filing a police report, and the like.
     
  7. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

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    Yes, I believe someone here tried to take advantage of me. In May 2016 I posted a Want Ad for a Leitz IIC enlarger. A member name "Hellmuth", supposedly from Spain, responded and asked for $300. but would not give me a telephone number to call and discuss the transaction. I was suspicious and let the conversation drop when he was not being cooperative. I believe he registered here as a member to respond to my want ad. Here is a link to his profile page here: http://www.apug.org/forum/index.php?members/hellmuth.79603/
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  8. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    On those infrequent occasions when I post something for sale on any of the fora I frequent, I always stipulate a minimum post count for anyone to respond. It's usually 50 posts, but sometimes other numbers.

    I think this is perfectly reasonable since the fora Classifieds are meant as a convenience for members to buy or sell gear to each other, not to drive-by opportunists.

    - Leigh
     
  9. desertrat

    desertrat Subscriber

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    If you used a postal money order, and the seller is in the USA, you may have some recourse. Get all your documentation together and submit a complaint for mail fraud to your local postmaster.

    I understand postal inspectors pursue mail fraud cases aggressively, and if the transaction is across state lines, it becomes a federal offense. It may be a federal offense anyway.

    Once the seller starts getting visits from federal agents, he just might send the item or refund your money.
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I've dealt with a few people who did not want to use paypal for reasons other than fraud (policies, fees); so I treat that as a yellow, rather than red, flag.

    The is some MO tracking available on the usps website, but I don't know what info it gives you.

    Some people disappear on vacation over the holidays and are irresponsible with communications and shipping. But your issue was weeks ago, so that doesn't apply.

    Good luck on getting your item or getting your money back.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    FYI, after I put up post #3, I used the Report this post triangle on post #1 to get Sean's and the moderators' attention. It is good to know to use this when there is a problem which seems to be ignored.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have dealt with some wonderful people here buying or selling things
    only on rare occasion have i had trouble; and it was a PITA.
    sorry to read of your not good experience.
     
  13. Luis-F-S

    Luis-F-S Subscriber

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    Never had an issue with this or the LFF site, but again, I'm sure there are some bad actors out there. I recently had a buyer who did not want to list the ship to address on the Paypal Invoice I sent him, so I refunded his money and kept my item. If he protested the sale later, I would have had no recourse. The situation smelled bad to me, so I didn't bite!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  15. canvassy

    canvassy Member

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    My understanding is the same, and that the United States Postal Inspection Service ( a federal law enforcement agency ) seems to take this kind of thing very seriously.

    Best of luck to you, Richard.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In light of further reports of non-active members responding in private messages to "Want-To-Buy" ads, I'd recommend that anyone who posts a WTB ad to do a little research before sending a money order to a stranger.

    Normally, as a forum user, I wouldn't buy something from someone who just joined APUG, has no posts, and has no history on the forum. The more unknowns, the more the buyer needs to protect themselves. If I think there isn't enough context, sometimes I'll ask questions that could only be answered by someone who knows what they are selling and has the equipment in hand. Ask for pictures, and to be sure they aren't just pictures taken from someone else's eBay ad (check eBay--including completed auctions--for that), you might ask for an extra photo of something that doesn't show up in the photos they send. You might talk to the person on the phone.

    If something doesn't seem right, walk away.
     
  17. Dave Saunders

    Dave Saunders Subscriber

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    As a retired LEO, excellent advice. However, I'm a new user, who may have a ton of small, medium and large format as well as various darkroom paraphernalia for sale ... not sure yet, still in the thinking about it stage. If I do, I'll do what I can to assure the buyer ... but in the end of course, it's their decision and I'll reiterate what David stated "If something doesn't seem right, walk away." The only other thing I might add is check them out on social media. It doesn't take much to find out if the person using that name actually exists ... if they're legit and using their real name, there will be a trail somewhere.
     
  18. OP
    RichardJack

    RichardJack Subscriber

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    Update:
    I'm usually not this dumb. I should of seen this coming. No complaints here with this forum or regular members.
    IMO the Postal Service is useless. The Police in the town my Money order was sent to and cashed run things like Mayberry (some maybe be too young to know).
    After making me wait 30 days I got a copy of my cashed in MO. I called the banks who stamped the back, at least they are interested and I scanned and sent a copy of the MO to them. The person who cashed it must be on camera, a date/time/clerk/and account number is shown. They are limited in what they can share with me but hopefully they will contact the "Mayberry" police. This was an organized scam, these people are collecting money from WTB adds from all kinds of forums and web sites. I feel sorry for people who lost more than I did. They won't bother to go after these people. I trust Paypal, I won't purchase using a MO any longer.
    BTW, the person's name and address was legit, but their phone disconnected. Identity theft, maybe it's s dead person, an abandon house. Someone had to retrieve the mail and cash it with false ID. You would think the local police would of at least looked into it.
    I hope these people rot.
    The name used was Carlson Johnson from Tyler, TX. But I'm sure that is phony.
    Thanks to everyone who replied.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I am sorry that this happened to you.
     
  20. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I recently sent payment for a used item in Pennsylvania via the letgo.com website. The seller doesn't have a PayPal account but said he'd accept a personal check. I'm taking the risk because I'm saving at least $100 (approx. 40 percent) from the lowest price I can find anywhere else. Too, since I sent a personal check, if he deposits it in his account, my credit union will back-charge his account if I file a complaint with them. Had I mailed a money order, or if he was able to cash it at my banking institution (he can't because it's a regional credit union), I'd have no recourse that's worth the time to pursue. In this situation, I feel pretty safe.
     
  21. OP
    RichardJack

    RichardJack Subscriber

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    Hi Old & Feeble,
    You'll probably be OK, not everyone is dishonest. I thought the US Post office was safe. My mistake was I didn't send it priority mail that I could of insured and sent it registered. I was so happy to have finally found the item I was looking for I was blind. When I emailed him asking if he received my MO and shipped the item and never got a reply I knew I was scammed. I had an issue with my federal credit union once and it took 6 months to finally get my money back. I just didn't expect that thing happening here.
    regards,
    Richard
     
  22. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    I understand and feel your pain, Richard. I've been scammed many times, the worst of which were face-to-face. One guy got me for over $5,000 in auto parts and repairs and another was a building contractor that hit me for over $15,000. I never recovered from either of those losses (thefts). I understand that the pain isn't just economic... the betrayal and loss of ability to trust is far more damaging. It's far worse when our own family does it to us.

    EDIT: I'm ready for my deal in PA to turn sour... I won't be surprised. But I also know that if he scams me I can probably get my money back with minor effort. Even if I can't recoup the loss, I accept that as a calculated risk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  23. OP
    RichardJack

    RichardJack Subscriber

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    What is your first name? (sorry)
    I hope you get your item. How long has it been? The test would be to email him and see if he replies. This was only $110, I'm more "Mad as Hell" than hurt. Scammers and con artists are the slime of the earth.
    I'm still looking for a couple of items, I will be very careful next time.
    regards,
    Richard
     
  24. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Member

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    Only 110$? Mate, that's a day of work. Personally I would be mad for much much less.
     
  25. rthollenbeck

    rthollenbeck Subscriber

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    Sorry you had that happen. The classifieds have been good to me here.

    PM sent
     
  26. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    My name is Mike and I live in Floresville, TX.

    I mailed the check just three days ago so it'll be several days or in excess of a week before it clears my bank. Then, the seller's bank may hold the funds for a week or longer. I'm not worried about it. I've been ripped off for far more than the $124 I sent and this is a calculated risk. Will I be pissed if the sellers tries to shaft me or lied about condition of the item? Of course, but I'm so accustomed to being abused that I don't even feel the penetration anymore.