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Old 20-02-2013, 17:11   #1
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How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

For about 20 years we have bought things from all over the country off classifieds, both printed and online. I guess we do our best to suss out the scammers before we pay but this time I got done. A shame as we prefer to trust people.

I had a wanted add in an online classifieds called "www.gumtree.com.au" there are also sites overseas but this is the oz one. The add was for "Cruising Spinnaker WANTED"

One guy "Mick" emailed me saying he had two spinnakers and a spinnaker pole for sale. They sounded perfect, only thing he was in hastings Victoria, I listed my add as Sydney. I mentioned that I might be prepared to drive down, but to send me some photos. Time went on and no reply. Then a reply came saying he listed the spinnakers on Gumtree. i found the add with two photos, they looked good and I called him on the number provided in the add.

Sounded fine. he obviously knew his sailing and I swallowed the bait. I opted for posting them & suggested we use PayPal but he said he had not used it before so I transferred the $250 for the sails to his NAB account.

He emailed that he had sent the parcels....................................several days latter no sign of them, no tracking numbers that he had promised, no reponse to the emails, sms and phone calls do not seem to get anywhere.

I had been going into town each day excited about finally getting an asymetrical spinnaker. Two weeks now and I finally admit that we have been scammed


Beware - Beware - Beware

dont know if there is much we can do about it. I would love to know how to follow up through the bank account he used, but perhaps that has been cancelled like the phone numbers.

I will post a copy of some of the email correspondance in case anyone has encountered this character before.
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Old 20-02-2013, 17:13   #2
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Here is some of the email exchange, there was also text and phone calls, but it gives you the picture. You probably are best to read it from the bottom upwards.

________________________________
Hi


I am still interested. You were going to send some more info ?

Cheers

Mick


From: replier.1013167682.OTKR9@users.gumtree.com.au
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 12:33 PM
To:
Subject: A reply to your ad "Cruising Spinnaker WANTED, Asymmetrical, MPS, Kite"




Someone has replied to your ad!

A Gumtree user has an inquiry about your classified ad 'Cruising Spinnaker WANTED, Asymmetrical, MPS, Kite' (Reference: 1013167682).
Message:
g day mate, i just posted an add for two spinnakers i am trying to sell. one is an asymmetrical and the other is a symmetrical. symmetrical sail is 11m x 11m x 6m and the asymmetrical sail is 11m x 10m x 5.6m. both sails are in good condition with no tears and no repairs. both sails would suit your mast height. i have flown both sails with and without a pole.
To reply to this message please use the Reply Button of your email client

If your ad is no longer available, please delete the ad now.



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If you have any questions, please look at our Help Pages or contact our Community Support Team.
Copyright 2012 eBay International AG.
About Gumtree | Help | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Posting Policy





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Old 20-02-2013, 17:18   #3
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Have you reported this to the police?
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Old 20-02-2013, 17:36   #4
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Not yet, but were thinking of it.
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Old 20-02-2013, 17:39   #5
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

IF you have been scammed, $250 is not a lot of money. Easy to spend that much on a good dinner in a restaurant or a night out drinking with friends.

There are other reasons why you may not have received the sails (maybe he is away sailing, on business, hospital etc) so best to handle this through the Police, Small Claims Court, or your bank, rather than accuse them publicly of scamming you.
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Old 20-02-2013, 17:55   #6
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Good point, though I do not take an optimistic view of the likely outcome. I edited the transcript above.

$250, yes it is not a lot of money. But there may be the cunningness of such scammers, people will be less trusting with bigger amounts. If he was not so convincing in the phone conversations then I would not have been so trusting.

When I try to phone his mobile number from my mobile, it shows calling for a second or two then without a sound reverts back to my home screen. I have not encountered this before. If someone is in a no service area, or not connected, etc you usually get a message, but nothing and i tried it from 2 different phones, one with caller ID activated in case he was blocking some calls.
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:05   #7
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

If you are having trouble calling his phone, you could try contacting the phone company and ask them to trace it and/or investigate the fault.

Your efforts to investigate this are likely to cost more in time and money than your original loss, so sometimes it is better to walk away and consider it a very cheap lesson. If you want to resolve it on principle, contact the Police, Small Claims Court, or your bank for advice on how to proceed.
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:19   #8
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

I am a bit of a "Blue Healer" when it comes to following up on such matters, once I have given it my best then I will retire from the task satisfied at that.

I doubt I will get the money back, but will talk to the Police on principal as it might be me today and some poor pensioner tomorrow that gets done for a lot more.

Sim cards are cheap and disposable after one or several scams. Your ID details were once taken upon purchase of a sim card but that is not done any more in supermarkets. I bought an Amaysim card last week for data use and no ID was taken. Where as in India or Nepal, they take a photocopyof your passport, visa, and all the details when you buy a sim card.

So anyone can use a moble phone without disclosing who they really are.
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:19   #9
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by ribbony View Post
Not yet, but were thinking of it.
It should be possible for the police to trace the guy via his bank account. You need 100 ID points to open any account and that always includes photo ID.
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:22   #10
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Gumtree is apparently similar to Kijiji and other online free 'classifieds' sites.

Unlike ebay, which has some measure of buyer protection through using Paypal, these free sites offer NO protection.Their cardinal rule is 'do the deal in person'... as in this page from the Gumtree Help site:

Quote:
Most basic Buying & Selling tips:

  1. Always meet in-person - take someone with you and meet in a public place
  2. Never send or wire money (especially Western Union or Moneygram) to someone you do not know or trust
  3. Use common sense. If something sounds too good to be true - it probably is

And of course:
Never send or wire money to sellers or buyers. This includes never mailing a cheque or using payment services like Bidpay, Western Union or Money Gram to pay for items found on Gumtree. It is our belief that these forms of funds transfer are favoured by fraudsters.
... so you've given us a prime example why this is the rule.

Gumtree wants anyone scammed to contact them
. Have you done this?
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:31   #11
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Report it to www.ic3.gov which is an internet crime site that ebay recommended to us. We have just used it to get a problem supplier from the UK to payup.

Nothing may come of it of course but the more these people get reported, the more chance that they may get stopped.

Send him an email that you are doing all of this, may nudge him a bit.

Coops.
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:43   #12
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Its a straight out Misappropriation, or fraudulent false pretence. There is good evidence there in the form of the bank account. Even if you don't care about it the police need to know so they can stop him, if he in fact has not simply been run over by a bus or has some other excuse
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Old 20-02-2013, 18:51   #13
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

I had a look at IC3, a question arises, is IC3 a global or US orientated site ? So will it deal with a complaint from Oz.

From what I know Gumtree is owned by eBay & has been for at least a year if not more. That is why after searching on gumtree for something, then I go on eBay the same things I searched for on GT start to appear in banner adds above eBay, time and time again. ESP ?

I will also report it to gumtree, even though they are going to send the same quotes as above. "naughty boy" only buy direct.
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Old 20-02-2013, 19:16   #14
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Re: How I scammed in Australia - a lesson learnt - Beware

Simply go to the police and ask to report your situation. Every bank account in Australia has enough info attached with your application to make you 'mostly' very locatable. He will probably have a TFN that can be traced and drivers licence etc. Some those ID's might change or be deleted over time but there will always be a track.
Every mobile number in Australia is traceable to the original purchaser (with SIM card).


I have lost more parcels using registered mail than just plain mail. On at least 60% of the registered mail I have sent or recieved the mail has got "lost" and eventually turned up at the original senders addy after a few weeks to months. I had lost too many sales with contracts getting "lost" when sent as registered / tracked that I would rather do it ordinary post now. Maybe your gear is in limbo somewhere?

I would not hesitate to call the AFP and report the situation. If the gear is legitimatelly lost then at least they will track him down and you will see he had some proof or not of sending it.

Good luck.
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Old 20-02-2013, 19:24   #15
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Bought stuff from eBay for years without a problem. Only time I thought I had been scammed was when a seller went cruising for few months and forgot about the item in rush to leave. Hand delivered with apology on return. **** happens in people's lives and mix-ups may take time to sort.
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