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Old 26-08-2004, 01:56   #1
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Land Sharks

Well you know that old saying, If something sounds to good to be true, then maybe it isn't true.
Well, I have been looking out for an Autopilot for sometime. Our boat is a 45ft Ketch, and my wife knows nothing of sailing yet. So I was hoping to have an Extra set of Hands as such with using a pilot. Well, unfortunatly we have limited funds and they are just too far out of reach for us at the mo. But low and behold, on Ebay, I come across this guy selling a new Navman Autopilot. Well I end up winning the bid for a total of US$460.00. With freight, the total came to NZ$850.00. Yep that is as much as it sounds. We struggled, but scraped up enough money and sent it as a registered bank cheque. Mistake No.1 But I had his address, so I thought I was safe. Well it's been several monthys now, and after a lot of reserch into this character, it turns out he is tied up with the Russian Mafia and the product is bogus, never existed and the guy is in a part of the US that no law enforcement seems to want to be interested in getting involved in. And I am on the other side of the world and so...
So just as a word of warning. Becareful if you see stuff like this for sale and make sure you protect yourself with Paypal. Something I found out afterwards.
So the end of the story is, we are out of pocket of money we struggled to raise and we have no Autopilot. Oh well.
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Old 26-08-2004, 03:01   #2
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What a shame, it is a bit late to say always read the feedback and always use paypal. In UK when something is imported, you normally pay the UK tax on delivery.

Sometimes things can go right with ebay, and I have been lucky so far (bar one where I came across the description with 1 minute left to bid, won the item, then discovered that in very small print at the bottom of the description, it mentioned that it was faulty)
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Old 26-08-2004, 08:07   #3
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Talking

I got a friend who has a friend who knows a guy named Vinny in Jersey that can make a "visit" to "rearrange things" for guys like that. For a fee.
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Old 26-08-2004, 11:11   #4
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Alan, This is hard to believe.
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" it turns out he is tied up with the Russian Mafia and the product is bogus, never existed and the guy is in a part of the US that no law enforcement seems to want to be interested in getting involved in."
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I work close to the law enforcement in my area and they would probably love to get this assignment.

Which part of the US is this in? Maybe I can push some buttons and see what's going on here. Do you still have or is the link to the ebay ad still active.
And what did ebay have to say about the situation. I've been to some of their sales meetings and this should not have happened. The guy has to have a legitimate email and address and phone to post an ad.

And like Talbot was saying there should have been some feedback. Never buy from anyone, in big $$$, anything without good feedback. I've spent more then $25 K on ebay and have yet had a problem.

Send me some info and I'll put it to work..........._/)
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Old 26-08-2004, 13:46   #5
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Hi Delmarrey, I have kept all Emails and original Ebay listing on my computer. Don't know how to post it here, but if your law enforcement freind is interested, I can Email all info directly to you.
The guy's name is
Lawrence Hidalgo
939 North 5th street
Reading PA 19601

He traded as tance_fund@hotmail.com

Here is a link to the original sale.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...ME:B:EOAB:MT:6

Hope that link works.

Ebay themselves seem to be able to do little but suggest I use Paypal and all the usual notes of safe trading.

As for feedback on the guy, there was little in the way of replies and the only complaint was poor comunication at the time. But there is a lot of negative now. Seems a few got caught.

My fault that I should have insisted on Paypal or forget the deal. But I was so desperate to get the Pilot. And it was my fault that I sent a Bank cheque. I mean I was nervouse all the way through the deal, as I knew the warnings. I should have headed them.
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Old 26-08-2004, 19:20   #6
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Yeah! Here's the feed back. Doesn't look good.

http://feedback.ebay.com/ebaymotors/...rid=tance_fund

ebay should eliminate this guy from posting any more stuff, if they haven't already.

I'll take what you have here and see what I can do with it. But don't get your hopes up. Being all the way across the country we may have little effect on the guy. PA is kind of a laid back state so trying to tackle crime organizations might be too much for them guys..............._/)

If you need or want to contact me direct my e-mail is:

del.hatton@seattle.gov
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Old 26-08-2004, 21:23   #7
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Post Internet Fraud

Here's a site that might be of interest.

http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/...ternet%20Fraud
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Old 26-08-2004, 21:32   #8
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Question Form

Wheels,

Here is a form you can fill out so they can go after this guy.

I can't do this part because it didn't happen to me so it's your call.

I'm picking up info as I go here~~~~~~~~~>>>....._/)


http://68.166.162.20/repoform.htm
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Old 26-08-2004, 23:12   #9
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Thanks Delmarrey, I will do some reading.
I'm not holding my breath, sad, but we have resigned ourselves to thinking it has gone. My Wife said, So how do we show to our tax man that we made a donation to the Russian Mafia. I said maybe I could ask for a reciept.
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Old 27-08-2004, 20:21   #10
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If you file a report then you do have a reciept. Same as a theft/loss here.

Little chance of getting the money back, but maybe it'll get this guy out of business.
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Old 28-08-2004, 10:21   #11
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Rip-Off's

The maintenance shop at "Marker One Marina" Dunedin, fl. is one to avoid. I resently had occasion to have some work done there. 1), The replacement od two steering cables on my 35' Prout, as well as buying and installing three new batteries. Parts came to, 3 Batteries, 8 1/4" s/s clamps, 2 15' 1/4" s/s cables =$455.00
Labor (They claimed 9.5 Hrs.) when in fact they were on the boat for about 5 Hrs. total labor cost = $845.35 at 9.5 Hrs this comes to $88.98 per hour. At the actual hours spent on the job The charge would be $169.07 per hour.
You would all be well advised to stay away from that shop.
BTW, the owner had the nerve to tell me "You are transient, where are you going to go without steering"
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Old 29-08-2004, 22:58   #12
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Reminds me of the Chevy Chase film Family Vacation, just after they jumped the car some distance and all the wheels were wobbly. HAving it fixed at some service centre out in the middle of nowhere, Chevy asks the mechanic, "what do I owe you?" Mechanic replies, "what ya got". Chevy say's "No you don't understand-- What do I owe you?" Mechanic replies "No you don't understand (slaping the palm of his hand with a tire iron) What ya Got?!?"
Sorry about you getting ripped off Cool change. As they say, the little wezzles will eventually get their comeuppance.
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Old 31-08-2004, 15:14   #13
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899$

Sorry to hear you lost the money outright. one point of interest here that was sort of forgotten. I have been looking for autopilots on the cheep end, which are recommended as fairly reliable and I found a pretty good deal at West Marine.

Ray Marine Autopilot ST 4000 MKII (for wheel steering boats)

for the price tag of 899 US$. Now that seems like almost the same price you paid but you are guaranteed return on the item for one year because of West Marine's warranty policy. Just seemed like it would be a good deal if you are still in need of an autopilot.

Captain Andy
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Old 31-08-2004, 21:16   #14
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Thanks Andy, but sorry, this pilot was to run hydraulic steering, not wheel steering.
The Navman, which is a really good unit and what I was dreaming of buying one day, has a RRP of NZ$3500, which is about US$2K'ish. I think you guy's are lucky that you get a pump in that price and the pump is extra in NZ.
The money I lost was NZ$850 which was not quite US$500. Our exchange rate is presently 65 cents to the US dollar. So the ST4000 would be approx $1400 my cost plus freight.
The Autohelm ST6000/7000 system to drive Hydraulic, is closer to NZ$8K buy the time I have everything. So it is too expensive here. For me at least.
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Old 14-10-2004, 14:22   #15
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Red flags

ALWAYS be extremely leery of an eBay auction when:

1. the seller has only few feedbacks
2. only accepts 'cash' (i.e. wire xfer, MO or cashiers check)
3. uses a stock photo (not a photo of a 'real' item)

While caution is in order, taken individually those 'flags' aren't necessarily danger signals.

When ALL of them are true you should definately pass on the auction.
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