Helpless: eBay Leica fraud (had been cheated $3300)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by joseph_cheng|3, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. I won an auction from US eBay (a Leica MP .85 chrome with a Summicron 50F2), but I had been cheated $3300, and I don't know what else can I do....
    Timelines:
    Feb 15, 2010: Won the auction (ebay Item ID: 200438133741)
    Feb 23, 2010: Remittance(USD3300) to the seller's BOA account (COBE ENTERPRISES LLC)
    Feb 27, 2010: no response from the seller after this day.
    Mar 2, 2010: Apply cancellation of money transfer from my Bank
    Mar 3, 2010: The seller refused to cancel the money transfer, from the information of Bank of America (tel. 800 729 9473/tel. 800 900 9044, case no. 456101MAR10)
    Mar 8, 2010: My bank's representative (Mr Kwok, 21989021) called me that the seller refused to cancel.

    I did report to eBay but they said I used an unacceptable payment method (bank payment) so they can't help me. I am a Leica lover so I often bid at Germany eBay too, so I am comfortable to use bank payment (most Germany eBay seller prefer bank payment)
    I reported to local police also (Report no. MK RN 10012876),but they also said that what they can do is little.
    I also opened a case at IC3 (Complaint Id: I1003020504414361) but no response.
    I would like to warn Leica lovers, if the seller asked you to pay to his bank account that the account name is COBE ENTERPRISES LLC or Kyle Satiam Khadar...Please don't do so and report to police...
    Please help and anyone can give me some suggestions what should I do now?.....
     
  2. Sorry to hear about this.
    I don't know much about the laws governing buying and selling in the US, but it may be worth posting your experience on rangefinderforum.com as in the past I've seen posts there in a similar vein which have got very good advice and help on how to proceed.
    I hope the moderator here accepts the spirit in which this is being posted, and doesn't start foaming at the mouth at the mention of a different forum.
    Hope you get it resolved.
    John
     
  3. SCL

    SCL

    Sorry to hear of your troubles. Most common advice given in recent years for internet buyers has stressed not remitting to bank accounts or wire transfers because you lose protection via approved payment methods. I'm curious also, did you check the seller's ratings and comments before entrusting your money to him - I've found due diligence pays big dividends. Hopefully you will eventually get some relief.
     
  4. It will be useful to warn others not to use unsanctioned payment methods as well.
    John, foaming at the mouth? Wow.
     
  5. khi

    khi

    Joseph, I am sorry to hear of your nasty experience on EBay. All I can do is give you and others the benefit of my experience. You should only pay for items on E-Bay using PayPal. ONLY PAYPAL. If you had used PayPal, you would not only be protected, but PayPal would not have released payment to this seller UNTIL you had received the camera and lens. I hope that the matter gets resolved properly for you. Good Luck.
     
  6. Sorry about your troubles. I can relate having experienced a similar thing - and ebay wasn't helpful in my case either. I was as surprised as you are to learn how unsafe using a money order for payment is and that ebay considers them unacceptable methods of payment. That is despite the fact that they list them as a payment option on their site. When questioned, it turned out that they have to since they cannot only offer paypal on account that they own it! I will never in my life use a money order for payment again - despite statements to the contrary they are essentially untraceable and the same as cash.

    I also learned that involving the justice system is rather futile - even if the perpetrator is found, tried and certainly found guilty, you still have no means to actually get your money back - but will have spent thousands more in in the process of trying to retrieve it. At least you will have the satisfaction that the perpetrator was prosecuted though - which is why you should not only report it to the police but to the FBI. I made the rather sad experience learning that the US privacy laws protect the perpetrator better than the fraud victim. In my case, I gave up since I didn't want to throw good money after bad.

    I learned from my experience that using your credit card through paypal is the only means to protect yourself - I won't use e-check and certainly not a direct bank transfer. This gives you a second chance to contest a payment through the credit card provider - paypal will only allow you to open a case once and if it is closed, you can re-open or contest.

    e-bay's lack of action in buyer protection also means that I will no longer deal with buyers or sellers that don't accept paypal or want the transaction handled any other way.
     
  7. PayPal would not have released payment to this seller UNTIL you had received the camera and lens.
    This is news to me. Whenever I've sold something on eBay the money has been transferred to my Paypal account as soon as payment was made and I've been able to transfer the money to my bank account.
     
  8. John, foaming at the mouth? Wow.​
    John,
    It may seem a bit dramatic, but I'm a member of a number of forums both photography related and others, and in some the very mention of a different forum has caused my post to be deleted, abuse hurled at me etc. etc. Hence my cautious approach!
    Pleased to say though that it seems a lot more civil round here than it used to be some time back.
    John
     
  9. This is another example, one people should take seriously, that it is never a good idea to pay by direct bank transfer.
     
  10. I am a Leica lover so I often bid at Germany eBay too, so I am comfortable to use bank payment (most Germany eBay seller prefer bank payment)​
    Although bank payments are common at eBay Germany (and specific other European eBay sites), that does not make this method of payment any less risky. In the case of Germany and German sellers/bank accounts, it is relatively easy to initiate a police investigation of a fraud transaction (cases can even be filed online nowadays) and drag a seller to court, but as others have already noted above, actually getting your money back is an entirely different matter.
     
  11. PayPal would not have released payment to this seller UNTIL you had received the camera and lens.
    News to me as well - to the best of my knowledge paypal does not provide escrow service. And many "escrow services" out there will disappear with both - the money and the merchandise. Or work together with either the buyer or the seller and defrauding the other.
     
  12. Ditto what Dieter said. You're on your own.
    You know who he is and where he is, start from there. Google his name, write a letter to the local newspaper, contact the
    media, leave feedback, google Internet fraud and contact the authorities-- you'll feel better, have told the world in
    perpetuity about this guy, and for 3300 he will live on in infamy and his reputation will be dirt-- but he'll most likely still
    have your money. Sorry. I've been jerked around on the Internet a couple of times now: $95,000 usd once and $2200 usd
    another.
     
  13. Hitler finds out he should have not made a deal outside of Ebay... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tDtoZzIOTw&feature=related
    This isn't to make light of Joseph's situation but to reinforcement the message to be careful with internet auctions.
     
  14. Re: what Jordan said. DON'T DO IT. Even mentioning his name in this forum can already get you in trouble. You actually only know who he pretends to be and under which name he operated on ebay; but the actual perpetrator might be an entirely different person, an imposter. For example, he could have hijacked an account on ebay and you'd be then smearing the name of an innocent person - with the potential of a lawsuit against you.
    Let the authorities deal with the criminal investigation - your only concern should be deciding whether or not to take legal action - which if you and he are both in the US will already be complicated and costly enough - and nigh impossible if you reside in different countries.
     
  15. Sorry to hear your that Joseph. I used to sell a rather expensive lenses through ebay.co.uk and I was surprised at the trust of German buyers using bank transfer many times. Being an honest seller it was all the same for me, plus I saved on Paypal fees. As a buyer I saved myself from rouge sellers several times since Paypal is very good at this if you pursue your rights through Paypal Buyer Protection.
    Moreover, I was cheated as a seller, too! I sold an item and received the payment from USA through Paypal. Then the next day after sending the item, Paypal reversed the payment. Apparently, a stolen credit card number was used and the credit card company rejected payment. Fortunately I sent the item using a fully trackable service and Paypal Seller Protection scheme refunded my loss within 3 weeks.
    So, my advice, as a seller and buyer: if you read/follow Paypal's rules on seller/buyer protection schemes carefully, and if you make sure your sale/purchase is covered, then you are pretty safe even for overseas sales/purchases. If your purchase or sale is not covered (this is indicated both on item pages and on Paypal payment received email), then you are definitely taking a risk.
    Good luck, and sorry again.
    K.
     
  16. Hitler finds out he should have not made a deal outside of Ebay... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tDtoZzIOTw&feature=related
    This isn't to make light of Joseph's situation but to reinforcement the message to be careful with internet auctions.
     
  17. PayPal would not have released payment to this seller UNTIL you had received the camera and lens.
    This is true. I'm not sure what the cash amount is, but I've had transactions as little as $700 placed on hold until the buyer leaves positive feedback on eBay. I've sold dozens of high-end pieces, and it's always the same. I have no neutral or negative feedback, I have a professional paypal account, and I have paypal verified addresses, bank accounts, and credit cards. When it's $3300 they certainly will hold the funds in escrow.
     
  18. Thank you for all responses really, I will read all asap. I am a newbie here, but all of you are so kinds and reply this thread.
    Actually I felt weird when the US seller asked me to use bank payment, but I did think that maybe he tried to save PayPal fee, that most of the European eBay sellers do.
    I am so careless and too easy to trust him. After I wired my money to his bank account, the bank manager of BOA did doubt that it may be a fraud (maybe he did similar internet crime before?) and held the money few days before sent to his bank account.
    But...I used DC to take him a picture of the remittance receipt and then emailed to him, then he got my money successfully and disappeared.
    Now, I gave up to get back my money already, but I want to alert any Leica lovers here, be careful of this guy...this scum does has some knowledge about Leica and he can pretended very well that the deal is legit and he can be trusted.
    I got all of his eBay registered addresses, phones, names, and IP addresses etc (by some methods...) I am just wondering how can I use such informations to catch that guy...
     
  19. Ed, that's the first time I hear about this - and I cannot find a single reference to it on the paypal site. Do you have a Business account - mine is a Premier and also verified?
    Did a little digging and this might be what you are referring to - from the Paypal User Agreement
    10.6 eBay Item Hold. PayPal, in its sole discretion, may place a hold on a payment you receive for an eBay transaction when PayPal believes there may be a high level of risk associated with the transaction. If PayPal places a hold on your payment, it will show as "pending" in your PayPal Account.
    1. Release of eBay item hold. PayPal will release the eBay item hold after 21 days unless you receive a Dispute, Claim, Chargeback, or Reversal on the transaction subject to the hold. PayPal may release the hold earlier if either of the following applies:
    2. The buyer leaves positive feedback on eBay, or (ii) PayPal can confirm delivery. PayPal will confirm delivery if you use USPS, UPS or FedEx to ship the item and (i) use PayPal shipping labels, or (ii) upload tracking information to PayPal via the transaction details page. This applies to US domestic transactions only.
    3. Additional hold period. If you receive a Dispute, Claim, Chargeback, or Reversal on the transaction subject to the eBay item hold, PayPal may hold the payment in your Account until the matter is resolved pursuant to this Agreement.
    I think the key here are the words "may" and "at paypal's own discretion" which indicate that this is NOT a standard procedure that is applied all the time .
    I have dealt a sold and purchased a lot on ebay and can't recall that I ever had a payment put on hold.
     
  20. I got all of his eBay registered addresses, phones, names, and IP addresses etc (by some methods...) I am just wondering how can I use such informations to catch that guy...​
    By giving the info to the FBI - you yourself wont be able to do much with it. The phone numbers are likely wrong or belong to some innocent person (they did in my case). IP providers won't give you any info on the person behind an IP address. Names are likely wrong or again belong to some innocent person.

    Unless that person used a false credit card and/or identity when opening his ebay account (assuming it is his to begin with), ebay knows who he is and the FBI can get the info about the SSN associated with the credit card used (you can't).
    Similarly, and probably the best chance is through the bank account you transferred the money too.
     
  21. You have the guy's adress. Go to a lawer, have him write a letter to him to send you the camera. If he does not respond, sue him. That's what lawers are for and if you and he live in a country with a working justice, eventually you wil lbe fine.
    Paypal solves a problem that in Germany does not exist. The whole economic system works on bank payments and a certain level of trust and common sense. In countries where that is missing, other payment services might be necessary.
     
  22. I would like to post some replies:
    Stephen Lewis He got more than 40 positive feedbacks...
    Keith Harris Yes, PayPal only from now on for US eBay sellers...
    Dieter Schaefer You did say what I want to say and the contradiction of eBay policy.
    I always wondering why they (eBay, Bank, police...etc) can't co-opt each others for Justice. The bank manager did meet the seller by person; eBay does know the personal information of the seller (and recorded all his IP addresses) etc.
    John Lawrence I do hope this post will not be deleted...as a Victim, I am so helpless and really want to get some opinions/suggestions.
    Guido H As a Leica lovers, I do feel eBay Germany just likes a treasure. You can get some rare/cheaper Leica gears often. But hell yes, it is risky to use bank payment...
    Jordan G. Thanks for your solid answer. I am going to do it. You've been jerked around on the Internet a couple of times? Can you share more?
    Dieter Schaefer (for your 2nd reply) Now the problem is the authorities will not deal with the criminal investigation...
     
  23. That's were throwing good money after bad comes in - even if you sue the right person (and chances are you don't), you will have no problem getting a verdict in your favor but that doesn't mean you will actually ever see your money. Then again, you might. Note that if he and you don't live in the same state, you have to sue in his home state - and will likely have to appear there in court. So add the cost for travel etc to your claim. And unless you have some sort of legal insurance or a lawyer that won't charge you; add those fees as well. Depending on circumstances, you might have to spend some $5K-$10K to retrieve (hopefully) either your money or the camera (if it even exists).
    Now the problem is the authorities will not deal with the criminal investigation...​
    There is a online site to report internet crime which I believe is from the FBI. They will investigate but they won't retrieve your money - for which you will have to start a private lawsuit. But at least you will then definitely know whom to sue - which currently there is a fairly high probability that you don't.
     
  24. The whole economic system works on bank payments and a certain level of trust and common sense.
    That's funny, the German's I work with laughed quite hardily at that statement. Trust and common sense will get you very little in this day and age. "Trust me, I won't steal your money!" Use only approved Ebay payment methods. Worldwide. It really is the only way to protect yourself. Money orders and checks are NOT approved methods, haven't been for at least a year. It's down to pretty much Paypal, Bidpay, and maybe one or two others I can't remember.
     
  25. Dieter, you are correct, it is not worth to sue him. Should I believe that there is no Justice in the world? or, Justice is just for the rich people only? I am confused...
    But I feel a bit better now as you guys are such helpful and eager to discuss my case.
    Thanks so much.
    I am not rich, this lesson is too expensive to me...
     
  26. Michael Howard So Michael, how can you explain that almost all Germany eBay sellers want bank payment and the buyers accept this form of payment?...Just out of curious...
     
  27. It's down to pretty much Paypal, Bidpay, and maybe one or two others I can't remember.​
    Bidpay ceased operation more than two years ago, Dec. 31, 2007 to be exact. Somewhere on the paypal site is a list of approved payment methods and here is ebay's recommendation: http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?HelpSearchNextGen&action=0&searchString=money+order
    I am not totally up-to-date on this but it appears that finally money orders have been disfavored - this wasn't the case a few years ago.
    Also, and very important: Joseph, you may still want to get some legal advise from your lawyer - you can then better decide whether or not to pursue legal action.
     
  28. Dieter - the quote you posted from Paypal's conditions is not, as I understand it, there as an escrow service but gives them the option of following money-laundering investigations (the 'risk' bit). If it was there for escrow srvices I think it would have to be all-or-nothing (not select transactions). There are an increasing number of pissed off PayPal users who have sold expensive items and PayPal have held onto the money claiming they are carrying out due diligence on the legitimacy of the sale and it is not a money-laundering operation. In some cases people have reportedly waited years (literally) to get their money even though the purchaser has supported their claim the goods have been received in good condition. The more cynical have claimed that it is a way of Paypal holding onto money to claim interest - but that is supposition of course.
    If you google PayPal you will find heaps of threads on this. It is for this reason I refuse to buy or sell expensive items on ebay and am deeply distrustful of it.
     
  29. As far as I know, there is a internet fraud division in FBI. A friend of mine had similar experience with his automobile purchase(he made downpayment of several thousand dollars) and he got hold of the internet fraud division in FBI. I believe he got his money back, although it took a while.
    Might as well look into that.
     
  30. I'm surprised that ebay allows payment other than paypal any more. But apparently they have to to avoid anti trust action.
    I've bought and sold on ebay for a number of years - and have only had 2 problem transactions out of several hundred. One as a buyer and one as a seller. In both instances I was found to be in the right and got my money back via paypal.
    As for the benefit of contacting the FBI - chances are for such a small amount they will not even look at it. Normally to get them to take action - it has to be big - either in scope or $ and sorry - $3300.00 doesn't come close to big.
    Another thing to consider - I have seen an increasing number of e-bay accounts getting hacked. I almost bought a nikon D2x from a hacked account 3 years ago. When I looked at the account's past history and didn't see any buying or selling of cameras or camera gear I became suspious. That delay was long enough for ebay / the real owner to figure out that the account had been hacked and that someone was using it to scam unsuspecting buyers into giving out their paypal account information.
    Good luck in getting your money back.
    Dave
     
  31. Here is the list of allowed payment types for the US. Undoubtedly, other countries have similar lists. Note that money orders etc. are not approved methods. Yup, sorry about Bidpay, it's Propay I was thinking of.
    http://pages.ebay.com/help/pay/accepted-payment-methods.html
    The link will probably be deleted, as I believe all links to ebay are...
    As far as your question, Joseph, I can only go by what the 3 Germans who use ebay told me about your comment. Perhaps they are extraordinary, and most other Germans use unsecure methods.
     
  32. When I looked at the account's past history and didn't see any buying or selling of cameras or camera gear I became suspicious.

    David is right on the money here. Another thing to look at is their other 'items for sale'. If the seller has a mixture of expensive camera lenses, high-end sewing machines, mountain bikes, stereo equipment, ATVs-- well, assume the account's been hacked by a slimeball.
    Expensive sewing machines seem to be a favorite category for the scammers. I suppose that people who sew tend to have traditional skills and values, and may not be as savvy about internet slimery, but maybe that's just a stereotype.
     
  33. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    No, the link won't be deleted. Too useful! Thanks for posting.
     
  34. Mike Hitchen - regarding the quote from paypal's user agreement. I agree with you that it is not an escrow system (and stated as much already but possibly not clearly enough) but believe it might explain what Ed Rodgers experienced. Thanks for the additional info though. Paypal certainly isn't perfect but IMHO it's the best there is.
    I believe that the German's reliance on bank transfer might partially be based on the lack of knowledge on how hard it is to actually reverse a transfer (and hence a false sense of security) and the lack of other options. Credit cards are rather unusual in Germany and also work differently - more like debit cards here in the US. Liability limits are also different - not at all like in the US.
     
  35. How many times, HOW MANY TIMES, have I heard about scams on E-Bay and Craig's List? I quit going to those sites YEARS ago.
     
  36. A local camera store has a slogan: "If you don't know cameras, know your camera dealer." This applies on the internet. There are certain dealers online that we all know are reputable. Cameta camera; Bergen county Camera; KEH.com; B&H; Henry's in Canada. There are only a few that come to mind. There are of course others. Sherry Krauter for Leica gear. Igor Resnik. Popflash (Tony Rose). I try to stick to reputable dealers, online or otherwise. Ask on the forum. Sorry to hear about your situation, Joseph. I hope it's resolved in your favor.
     
  37. I haven't read all the above post but I too got ripped off on Ebay. About 2 years ago I purchased a used 5D. After the auction I got a sad story about how paypal is not worth it. I too did a wire transfer and lost. He took the money and I never got to find out who. His account is live at the bank but they won't give me his address. I'm normally a very easy going guy but I would do 10 years in jail just to get him back for he did to me. That's how strong I feel about thieves. I hold a grudge for a lifetime. About a month later, Ebay sent me a 300.00 eBay bucks to spend with Paypal. I hate thieves. I work way to hard for my money. v/r Buffdr
     
  38. Very sorry this happened. You must use Paypal or a credit card on Ebay.
     
  39. Never use ebay for expensive transactions. Paypal, when it works is great but there are too many horror stories about people being unfairly ripped off by paypal. I myself had been treated very badly by paypal and would not use them again.
    Find out the email and postal addresses or ebay.com ceo and topdogs. Keep on pestering them with emails and snailmail. It is a lot of money. Contact your local newspaper and see if they are willing to run a story on this. Keep on posting links to the auction wherever you can. If you can publicise enough, evil fleabay would end up doing something or other.
     
  40. if he holds he funds in a us bank BOA, you can get a court order to have his funds frozen, until you can legal action in court to win judgement against him for fraud failure to deliver on promised goods.
     
  41. A local camera store has a slogan: "If you don't know cameras, know your camera dealer." This applies on the internet. There are certain dealers online that we all know are reputable. Cameta camera; Bergen county Camera; KEH.com; B&H; Henry's in Canada. There are only a few that come to mind. There are of course others. Sherry Krauter for Leica gear. Igor Resnik. Popflash (Tony Rose). I try to stick to reputable dealers, online or otherwise. Ask on the forum. Sorry to hear about your situation, Joseph. I hope it's resolved in your favor.​
    I got outbid over and over and over on ebay looking for a Leica. I finally bought a mint m6 ttl from Tony Rose (Popflash).
    It used to be said that you could safely buy from the classifieds on photo forums but, even on Rangefinderforum you see a member with a solid posting history (daily contributing member of the community) sometimes go rouge and steal money.
    Go figure.
     
  42. sorry, double post​
     
  43. I am very sorry to hear that has happened to you. If that much is at stake why not go there? AFAIK Paypal do not hold payment until goods are received. In hundreds of transactions I have had, never heard of it once. What I will say is that PAYPAL is also fraught with danger. I know 2 people who sold expensive items on eBay and were paid via Paypal. They sent the goods and all was fine until they were notified 3 months later that the buyer was using a stolen identity. Paypal did a chargeback and blamed the respective banks for that. These people lost their goods and their money. The consumer hasnt got a hope in hell of fighting Paypal or a big bank. So be very careful. Paypal not so safe as they would have you believe.
     
  44. Joseph, So sorry to hear about this situation. You could try contacting Bank of America, and they could investigate for you, once they see what has happened. Also, the FBI is very conscious about preventing internet based fraud, so that might be a course of action too.
    A few years ago, I sent money by Western Union to someone in Spain. I was a newbie, what did I know. Thankfully, I got a call a few days later from Western Union advising me to cancel the transaction, as they suspected it to be a fraud. I thought they were joking, but they were serious. I got my money back ($800), less the original Western Union fee. I feel lucky, but stupid too, because I should never have sent money without any form of protection.
    The only way I deal now is sending money via PayPal and USING A CREDIT CARD. PayPal is fine up to a point, but your credit card company is the best protection you have.
    I hope you get your money back, even though it is a difficult process.
     
  45. The account was indeed hacked. You made an offer on an item or bid on a 24hr auction? Ebay does not remove ended auctions unless it was a hacked account. (normally deleted in 3 months)
    It is not a bad thing to pay with Wire transfer. I have done it many times myself. But you must investigate the sale first. Call ebay if you are spending that much money. Do not send any money until you are sure.
    Usually hacked accounts do not last 2 days before the auctions are terminated and the listing removed. This is why most hacked auctions are only 24hr auctions. We turn in hackers almost daily on ebay and it can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days for ebay to cancel the auctions and regain control of the accounts.
    The important thing is to investigate the auctions. DO NOT make OFFERS on auctions or make payments directly to paypal or bank transfers, especially for large amounts of cash.
    The only real protection you have with paypal is an auction won on ebay and payed through ebay with paypal.
    Payments made directly to paypal, around ebay is not covered for a buyer. Just be a smart buyer and never send money until you are sure.
     
  46. I did contact BOA immediately, after I found that it is a fraud (about
    few days after I wired the money).

    I phoned to BOA many times and the staffs either gave me another
    phone numbers or simply said that they need to protect their clients'
    privacy so they can do nothing for me - money had been wired. It is his
    money already.

    I don't expect I can get back my money but at least eBay can show me
    the progress of their investigation, but not just unregistered the seller
    and then closed the case...
     
  47. While I can't really help with your problem, I can shed a little bit of light on auctions in Europe.
    First of all, bank transfers were the common means to pay for items on eBay Germany. The reasons seem to be that bank transfers inside the Euro zone are very easy to do and there aren't the associated PayPal fees. Now PayPal is a lot more common (mandated by eBay? I don't know) and often sellers who do not list PayPal agree to it if the buyer pays the costs.
    Second, these sorts of frauds do occur on a steady basis in Europe too. But staying in Europe, it's not too hard to ask the police to investigate. This will typically not bring the money back, but putting the seller in serious trouble does some help in trying to keep the Internet cleaner. Also, bank details can't easily be faked to the full identity of the seller is available to the authorities.
    In any case, I would never go with a bank transfer for any significant amount of money unless the seller was an actual physical store, in which case my consumer rights are much broader (still staying in certain countries only). And now the payment on eBay Germany has really shifted to favor PayPal, so it is reasonable to request the use of that for anything else than insignificant sums.
    Still, sorry about your woes, I know this doesn't help much, but you can always try to minimize your losses and not get caught up in the same situation again.
     
  48. Paypal is the safe method going through ebay.
    My experience with ebay started last year when I bought my RZ67 Pro II with the prism finder and the extra 150MM lens.
    The seller was in Hong Kong, he requested me to send the money via bank swift which I did, taken 10 days time after that to contact him via email and he never answered me, finally he wrote to me telling me that he did not receive the money yet.
    I went to my HSBC bank and they made a tracing case where they did after 3 days confirmed that the money was already in his account for more than 8 days.
    I wrote again to him and informed him that my bank given me the tracing code and the money is in his account, I forwarded the paper to his embassy and also to the trade court here, they also again contacted his embassy given them his account bank details, I again sent him copies of all of the circulating Documents, this is because I could not wait for his embassy action where they did promise to return my money back, when he received all of those documents, he wrote to me telling me that he just been called by his bank and the money is now in his account, and told me that the items already been posted the same morning where his bank confirmed the money, that was after more than 30 days.
    Finally a week later I did receive all of the items.
    Paypal, as far as I know is much safer method to deal with sellers on ebay or any other site, now I know that I can transfer any amount of money from my account to my internet card and use Paypal.
    In your case, if the seller is at the same country as you are and already you paid 3300 USD, it is to open a court case against him, when he knows the pressure is all around him and he do have your items, he will send them to you.
     
  49. I have spent thousands of dollars on ebay and on the few times that I have complained about the merchandise, I had no trouble getting my money back, I use paypal only and stick to people that have a history with ebay. By History, I mean that they have been selling items not just buying small items to build up their history. It does tie up your money for a while but paypal has always made good on it.
     
  50. RF_newbie john I don't think his eBay account had been hacked. I know his eBay account did change the shipping address/phone/email often. eBay unregistered his account just because he didn't pay the eBay listing fee. He did give me two bank accounts (both are BOA), one is his company, one is his name. I do think that he did the same fraud before, that's why the bank manager doubted that his bank account is used for illegal activity. And probably, his previous fraud is related to camera too.
    After the bank manager held the money, the seller emailed me and asked: "Did you send an abuse to my bank account?" At that time I were still in a mist....
    Oskar Ojala I remember my Germany friend told me that EU just unified/standardize the banking systems to make bank payment within EU easier. I do think the Germany eBay sellers Simply don't trust PayPal and the PayPal fee is too expensive. As a seller, what is safest than bank payment?
    John Matheo You are lucky that you can get back your money. This motivates me to put more efforts into my case.
    Anyone can share your idea how to put more pressure to the seller effectively?
    I am planning to write some formal letters to the bank, the authorities of his state, FBI, and all registered eBay addresses of the seller...
    I want to make a website for this case to draw more attention too...
    Again, thanks so much, you guys are awesome. I felt extremely helpless before I seek for some advices here.
     
  51. Paypal does hold your money for all the reasons that Dieter has listed, unless you have a feedback rating or a detailed sellers rating of a certain amount. I think it's a 100 or more feeback or sellers rating.
    It is frustrating, (for a legitimate seller,) to have to wait for Paypal to release the money, especially if it takes the buyer weeks to give you positive feedback. The buyer has 21 days to "evaluate" the purchase before the money is released to the seller.
    I suppose this is the only way Paypal can have control over fraudulent transactions, just a little frustrating for the honest sellers.
     
  52. Where are you, where is the seller, and where is the bank account?
     
  53. Joseph,
    I too am sorry about your experience. Do try the suggestion made of the FBI. When I bought an estate-sale Leica from Australia I was worried in view of the distance but used a credit card which I was told would provide insurance against false dealing. It cost an extra 2.5% but may have been worth it. Paypal is what I normally use and accept now (it isn't cheap in charges and in currency exchange rates), but I understand their protection ends at $1200. I have used bank transfer before (one to Rumania for a farely rare thousand dollar Leica enlarger lens, another to England, both from North America). I was lucky I guess and do not intend to use bank transfers any more.
    I know a month and a half has passed since your purchase, but is it not possible that you still might receive the camera? Delivery delays? I dealt with an excellent camera repainter overseas at one time, paid and had to wait more than a year to receive my camera (a IIIf) back from him. He didn't answer my emails, except when prompted by another Canadian who knew him and visits him occasionally while in his country. It took a long and frustrating time, but I eventually got the camera and it was well finished. He is a professionalphotographer who does the refinishing in spare time and got back-logged in his work. I am not suggesting that your seller is similar in poorly responding, but there is still a small possibility that he may come through. Do keep us posted on how it turns out, and good luck.
     
  54. Ebay is risky for large items.
    Step one is to check feedback, but sometimes that is flawed. See below.
    Step two is to ask for a phone number and talk to the seller personally.
    If they won't comply walk away.
    Step three is to only use paypal. At least you have some protection with paypal.
    There are some tricky ways these guys rip people off. Here are my stories.
    1. So I sell a Canon DSLR a while back. The guy does the buy it now wants it shipped overnight which I do. The next day the $ is gone from my paypal account since this guy had stolen someones paypal account.
    Turns out he was having it delivered to someone elses address, but he got nervous I guess because I had called him and threatened to have him arrested.
    UPS did not deliver it and I got it back the next day.
    Story #2. Bought an RZ lens from a guy in Canada. A photographer with a website. I figured it was safe. Looked legit anyway. Paid cashiers check. NEver got the merch. Filed an insurance claim with Ebay and got 50% of my money back. I called him at least 20 times in Ca.
    Story #3. I sold a cheap lens. It was small. Guy asked if I could send it US mail. I thought heck its small. cheap to send, etc. I did not purchase delivery confirmation. The guy probably got the item, but contacted paypal and said he did not. I had no proof that it was delivered, so paypal gave him his $ back.
    Story #4, the bad luck Kodak.
    Sold an SLR/C. Bids went fine. Was contacted by a guy in the far east who wanted to bid, and I said fine as long as you use paypal. He was the winner, but never paid and somehow, since he was the winner, he was able to hack into Ebay and get my user name and passwrd.
    He then started sending everybody who bid 2nd offers, I guess to steal $ from every bidder.
    After I was contacted by email by a bidder, I contacted Ebay and they stopped him.
    Story #4b, the bad luck Kodak again
    Put it back up for sale. Sell USA only as I had so many problems before.
    Some guy from czech won the bid. I email him but the email address looked odd but I think it was a Czech email address.
    Paranoid I started looking around on ebay and accessed the Ebayers info, and it listed an address in Maryland. His phone number was from North Carolina.
    I called him and he was in Toronto, at least that is what he said. He did acknowledge he was the winning bidder.
    So then I asked him where he was from and he said Arizona.
    I then asked him why all of his info did not match up and why his initial info said Czech and he said he was representing someone else in Czech. I proceeded to give him an earfull and he hung up. I contacted Ebay and they refunded the fees and cancelled him.
    I sold it the 3rd time no problems.
    Point is there are criminals on ebay that really know how to work the system. If they are smooth even a phone call wont help.
    I remember reading about a 14YO kid that got busted after doing about 20G in ebay fraud. He said "why are you bothering me. I was just trying to make a little money"
    If I were you I would contact Ebay. You might have to go through their insurance program.
     
  55. Even with PayPal you need to be on your toes. I haven't bought or sold anything on Ebay in over a year - a couple weeks ago I got an email saying that I had sent a payment in Eurodollars to someone I've never heard of. Turned out to be almost $300 that was charged to my CC account via PayPal.
    I immediately thought the email was phishing or junk, but immediately called CC company who cancelled the transaction and that CC number. Paypal immediately froze my account and cancelled the charge. I thought I had good passwords and all, but I'm in no hurry to use PayPal again after my experience, which is nothing compared to the OP's fraudulent transaction, in terms of dollars.
    One thing I messed up on when I set my ebay account up 8 years or so ago was I made my ebay id the same thing as my email, which is really stupid. When I have some time I will change, for instance if eby id is HankAaron for example, my email is HankAaron@hotmail, yahoo etc. dumb dumb i get lots of offers to buy stuff i missed out on bidding lol, funny the seller is always traveling in Europe and send to Western Union lol. Check out 419eater.com
     
  56. Joseph, it is true that bank transfer is the most secure means for the seller. And starting this year, the Euro bank transfers have been unified so that paying in Euros incurs no extra fees at all. But the classic fraud here where the seller sells something, gets the money and never ships tends to practically always happen with bank transfers (nobody uses cheques anyway, Western Union is not really used by Europeans either, so that leaves bank transfer, credit card and paypal). Some countries offer a cash on delivery service, which is actually the most secure thing for both parties, but that has a lot of limitations for international use.
    Anyway, I think the lack of popularity of PayPal on German eBay is mostly due to culture: PayPal fees are expensive and north Europeans don't like to pay extra ;-) But nowadays sellers seem to offer PayPal and auctions with PayPal tend to get better bids too.
     
  57. As a seller, I would use only a bank transfer with large, international sales as this does indeed protect the seller, but leaves the buyer with little protection. I will never, ever, again trust the paypal "seller protection" program since it is a farce. After selling a cherished 35mm version 1 cron to a supposedly trusted buyer in hong kong, following all of paypal's rules and even talking to a paypal representative about my concerns, the buyer claimed a chargeback 2 months later. His CC company took his side even though I provided proof of shipping, tracking, signature, and his positive feedback to me. Paypal took my money out of my account, charged me a penalty, and now is not answering any of my inquiries about the seller protection except to advise me to contact the buyer to work things out. Right, a crook is going to help me. Beware paypal, they do not stand behind their policies and they aid and abet the thieves.
    00W9YH-234081584.jpg
     
  58. I've purchased several items on the famous site, all but one went very well. I bought at first using CC and xxxxxx, then decided only USPS M.O. with sellers that accepted that form of payment. I've read that only xxxxxx is accepted now, won't risk the chance of fraud, no more purchases.
    The one bad purchase was with a foreigner living in Los Angeles, Rollei TLR filter, only $43.00 involved, not worth chasing it any more than I did. Total liar and discredit to any form of community activity. Listed "new, unused, old stock." Sent useless, damaged junk. Many e-mails got promises of "honest mistake, assistants fault, will send the correct one, in Jamaica on photo shoot at present, will contact you when at home" on and on.
    Complaint resulted in zero results or enforcement of policy, said they contacted him three times as is their way of handling complaints, he never responded, "matter considered closed." Exactly how can that be a proper way of handling a legitimate claim of fraud? The emails are a matter of record, the junk sent could be examined, sellers promise to make it good is there to be seen by anyone the least interested in resolution of the matter for a site member.
    Even more disappointing is the matter of a fraudulent seller being allowed to continue on the site, today he's still selling, feedback is as dismal as ever. For all their claims of security, efficiency and ease of transactions, when things go wrong, YOU are on YOUR own.
    From the complaints I've read of late the site in question commits the same fraud as the original thief, by letting it just go by with a statement of "you should contact the seller, the bank, or whoever can get US off the hook for something that happened on OUR site."
    Bye bye, xXxx, no more biz from me.
     
  59. In my case ($95000 car), I registered the guys name as a website and forwarded it to a car forum that had all the details
    on it. The used car dealer was a real sonofab&$@$ but everyone knew about it. He ocassionally still logs on using
    pseudonyms and makes personal threats, etc. I actually had to delete my personal photos here and use a pseudonym
    (thank you Josh!) at my wife's insistence. The BBB was useless as he wasn't a member. The state revoked his license.
    He moved and a reporter learned of him through the web so he's not gone far there either. The lawyers were too
    expensive and useless (USA and Canada). The good money (45000)I kept and used to fix the car rather than pay the
    lawyers.
    Thanks for letting us know about this creep. Be brave and resolute.
     
  60. I would never send money other then PayPal. Money transfers are a sure sign of a scam.
    Sorry for your loss.
     
  61. I really hope things turn out for the better and this guy is caught. A few years ago we were broken into and they stole most of my camera and computer equipment, as well as a lot of other things. The police did nothing even though I had every serial number and pictures. I tracked the stuff myself and in a few weeks found my stuff being sold in another city, in another state on Craigslist. I personally responded through email via Craigslist using a fake name and email address. A few days later I drove out there and set up to meet the guy and see the items first hand. They were all mine. I asked how he aquired them and he made up some bogus story which obviously sounded like a lie. I called the local police there... nothing happend. So I took matters into my own hands. I went out late one Sunday night at around 3 am, broke into his car, rigged the ignition, and drove it a few miles down the road then pushed it into a lake.
     
  62. Joseph, I'm being completely honest in saying that for a matter of $3,300, I'd just go ahead and hop on a plane for the U.S. and pay him as well as his local police department a visit. Perhaps an official inquiry from the police (even over the phone) might be enough to scare him into returning the stolen funds. I would also contact a lawyer working in the immediate area in which he resides and see if you could coordinate a lawsuit of some sort. Who knows?
    I would not just eat the $3,300.
    Please believe me when I tell you that trying to dispute a transaction such as this from where you are is simply futile. No law enforcement agency will take you seriously.
    Filing a bunch of complaints from behind your computer is an exercise that will end in nothing but frustration.
    If you do nothing, he will just walk away from the whole affair unscathed, smugly gloating over the theft.
    Bottom line, even if you don't end up recovering your money, a nice 3 day trip to the U.S. culminating in a bat swing into the perpetrator's face might bring you all the relief you are liable to procure in such a situation.
    My 2 cents.

    And yes, I am advocating violence because it unfortunately happens to be the only means of communication that people who casually steal from others are able to comprehend.
     
  63. I was suckered once too on ebay, many years ago. As they say, if the price is too good, then it's not for real. When it happens to someone, it should only happen once in a lifetime, that's the only good news here. It's very easy to learn from our experiences.
    I have done alot of watch trading in the past 10 years, but not on ebay because I'm dealing with expensive items. I've never had a bad transaction on multiple watch collecting sites, because one thing I've learned well is that one buys the seller as much as the item. This is true with ebay as well. If you can't determine who the seller is, and their reputation, simply avoid the purchase. There will always be another one.
    Good luck recovering your money. Ebay, unfortunately, is an easy target for thieves. And they could care less about you if you don't use PayPal which they own.
     
  64. I would hire the Mafia to go after this crook.
     
  65. My condolences. I only buy from Ebayers located in my country and who regularly sell photo equipment with a good track record. 100% positive selling comic books is not going to convince me to buy that Leica M7 you now have listed. No way. No offense to anyone but I refuse to send my money across the ocean knowing how little power I really have if something goes wrong. Best of luck to you on getting this settled.
     
  66. This is news to me. Whenever I've sold something on eBay the money has been transferred to my Paypal account as soon as payment was made and I've been able to transfer the money to my bank account.

    Yep---I sell frequently on ebay (I have a Canon Rebel there now).....and this is relatively recent policy. Payments for certain "high risk" items for sale are held until buyer satisfaction is obtained or a number of days has past.
    This policy was in effect for me on both photo equipment and audio/video electronics.
    This was not the case a few months ago
     
  67. I guess will have to find other ways to sell our gear without getting ripped off by the buyers such as selling through Art Morris, this website, etc.
     
  68. Joseph;SORRY for your loss;

    Here I really have had few if any issues ; I buy stuff at thrift stores. mail order; junk yards; flew markets; ham radio swap meets; garage sales ; Ebay etc.
    I also have had no issue with Brooklyn camera dealers either: I have bought alot of oddball stuff from old Cambridge Camera with no hitches either.
    With Ebay I have bought and sold about 5000 items combined. With mailorder I have bought stuff since the 1950's. I tend probably do an order of magnitude or two more research on a buy compared to other folks.
    Once in the late 1950's I ordered an aero ektar surplus for 5 bucks and it came in freight collect at the train station; I totally screwed up and assumed freight was trivial. The giant mounted lens in the cameras frame cost more in frieght than the lens. My gross mistake early on is what I learned from.
    I use to sell custom greeting cards door to door when a kid; and got burned with non/slow payers a few times; I think this helped me smell out rats better.
    I bought by LTM new summicron for 1250 bucks via a bank transfer in the USA. I used a bank transfer for about 5200 for a spare used 4x5 scan back on Ebay from Hong Kong about 8 years ago. My Bessa R; 15mm VC were bought from Hong Kong using paypal. My Epson RD-1 was from tokyo via paypal.
    Last month I bought a pallet worth of oddball discontinued vellum for printing on ebay using a bank transfer fro about 500 bucks. I bought a carton of 2 rolls and tested it out; then bought a lifetime supply and had it shipped via truck to cut the freight down. Each roll costs me about 150 each as a printer when it was available; I got 22 rolls at about 23 bucks each with freight; a massive steal. This seller had a poorer rating.
    In minor stuff from Germany that is in the 100 buck or less range I have just used cash in the mail.
    The bulk of the 1 and 2 camera body/combo Rusian stuff I bought before 9/11 was with 20 dollar bills in the mail. If a ebay seller doesnt seem/smell correct with a larger purchase; I pass. Thus with bigger several hundred dollar buys I tend to buy from sellers that have been around; folks who I have already bought stuff from.
    I buy low cost stuff from even flakey folks; but high end stuff from better sellers.
    Thus my Epson RD-1/s for 2200 was from a dealer that who has a long track record; somebody I have already bought from.
    In buying Russian Zorkis with lens and case for 11 bucks; say 18 with shipping; I use to just use a 20 dollar bill and buy from anybody in the Ukraine or Russia; and never had any issues with many many dozens of buys.
    The *BIGGEST* issues I have had with ebay is selling stuff to Canada; UPS always gets thru but buyers whine about duties; with USPS delivery time is days to several months or never; buyer have ziltch duties but the package gets lost or delayed; like the Canadian postal workers are gone fishing or playing hockey.
    With my own ebay buys; I have had two about say 60 buck items never get to the USA; a total loss.
    I use to buy an sell stuff on Shutterbug Yellow Pages; rag dinky newsletter; then yellow newspaper in the 1970's. I lived close to Florida for a few years and would get the yellow newletter the next day at a post office; I would skim the deals; fire off a money order via airmail that day and would snipe *deals*. Then I would resell the stuff the next month or two later. One would call up Glen and Patti Patch and place an advert verbally in the early days; I had a cash balance they took the fees from. I might buy a 545 Polaroid adapter for 20 bucks; and resell it for 35 to 45 bucks. If some buyer called me from say Columbus Ohio and I knew them or had seen them on Shutterbug; I just mailed/UPSed off the 545 adapter and then they would mail me a check. About 1/2 of my buys were 50 bucks of less stuff; I just mailed off cash thru the mail.
    Paying not using paypal and with a bank transfer has its risks. I am afraid that non of this stuff where folks have losses is really anything new; it existed way before Ebay in mailkorder; fraud even goes back to the beginning of time with business transactions.
    Trying to get ones money back from sale/purchase in another country is tough; about impossible.
     
  69. Before the time of eBay I bought some items from classified ads and CameraShopper ads. I bought a Vivitar 2X Macro Focusing teleconverter in Minolta mount. The payment was made with a Postal Money Order and I think it was sent by Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. After about ten days I tried to contact the seller. It takes a while to see who cashed a money order but the Delivery Confirmation is usually faster. A few days later I filled out the paperwork at the Post Office and a Postal Inspector contacted the seller. He got upset and left me a phone message but then mailed the item right out. At this point I think the authorities have simply lost patience because of the large number of transactions and the unreliability of the methods both buyers and sellers to combat fraud.
     
  70. I use Paypal's Secure ID device. End of worries about the account getting hacked.
     
  71. So many sad stories...
    Now I am busy to prepare documents and letters for my actions.
    I strongly believe one day he will pay for what he did so I will not give up.
     
  72. USE PAYPAL & ONLY WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD -- NOT FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. PAYPAL IS NOT AS SAFE AS YOU MAY THINK!!!!
     
  73. I have been buying and selling on eBay now for years without any problems. First, when looking at an item I check the seller's feedback. I look primarily at items which the seller has recently sold. If he specializes in selling Peanuts figurines, or has not made any sales a long time, and is suddenly selling a Leica M8 for a few thousand dollars I am going to be very suspicious. One of the big problems nowadays is sellers having their user ID stolen, so the seller's feedback might look good, but it's phony.
    Never, ever, under any circumstances, no matter what, no matter how badly you want it pay by money order or bank transfer. People who routinely buy and sell online will say that if you pay in such a way and get ripped off, you pretty much deserved it. Always pay by Paypal or credit card. Some people may not like the fees involved, but they are worth it for the protection they provide. If a buyer refuses to accept Paypal or a credit card, I will not bid on the item.
    And, if something like this happens, do as you did and post your experience anywhere and everywhere you can. It may be too late for you to do anything about it, but other people will hopefully read about your experience and be more careful themselves.
    Someone mentioned earlier that Paypal places a hold on payments until an item is received by the buyer. This is not entirely true. A hold may be placed if the buyer or seller has little or no feedback, or if the buyer's or seller's Paypal accounts are unconfirmed. I've had an issue or two with Paypal in the past, but as they are the best option available now, I use them pretty much exclusively. If a seller directly accepts credit card payments, I will sometimes choose that option. I have sometimes made payments by money order in the past, mainly to mom-and-pop sellers for inexpensive items (my GF happens to collect Snoopy items). In these situations the risk is minimal, and I'm not going to have a cow if someone rips me off out of $10.
     
  74. I'm sorry you got rooked!
    I've been trying to follow this thread, and don't understand most of it. I'm a buyer only, not a seller, and have had problems with Paypal ever since the very first week they started (although they have gotten a lot better in the last year). I pay with my credit card through them -- they're not touching my bank account.
     
  75. Hire a private investigator who has the legal means to chase this person down through financial transactions. Find out where he lives. Go get your lens or your money. If you feel more secure, hire a armed body guard to go with you. All would cost you much less than than your loss and you will feel vindicated in righting a wrong. Also, it would be nice to see the thief have to change his undershorts when you show up. If you are able, please take some pictures.
     
  76. Don't ever give up, Joseph, you'll win in the end.
    For delays in payment, the bank could be the culprit. It's interest-free funds to them, so some banks will tell you that your payment has not yet arrived while they divert your money to some urgent over-night (or short-term) funding requirements. This happens a lot when banks are short of funds, such as during the 2008 financial tsunami.
     
  77. I join the sympathy of the group. Like some of the others here, I too frequently buy and sell camera equipment over eBay. I have not added all the numbers but over the years I have probably transacted over USD$50,000 on eBay. A couple of times I was in jeopardy of either being ripped off or been taken advantage by a dishonest seller/buy, but each time my situation was resolved in my favor. Here are the rules that I personally follow for eBay transactions:

    1) Buyer/Seller -- Never transact with anyone who has less than 98-99% positive feedback, depending on how many feedback he or she has.
    2) Buyer/Seller -- Avoid transactions with ppl with low feedback numbers.
    3) Buyer -- Confirm that the seller has sold similar items or items of similar values in the past. If not, contact the person for a telephone number to chat with them over the phone personally. When I do this, I ask lots of questions to assure myself that the seller knows his or her photography. If they don't know the difference between a range finder and a SLR, chances are they don't know whether the lens' aperture ring REALLY operates smoothly not to mention any knowledge about focus shifts.
    4) Buyer -- Always use PayPal, and always use a credit card as the funding source for your PayPal. You get double protection in this manner. Keep in mind that PayPal gives you up to 60 days to report a problem, but some credit cards give you a longer grace period.
    5) Seller -- Always use UPS or FedEx shipping with signature requirement and confirmation; and keep the confirmation for at least 6 months. Don't try to go cheap with anything less; it is not worth it.
    6) Buyer/Seller -- Always get the phone number, for buyers I tell them I need it for UPS or FedEx. Call the number back to confirm it is a true number.
    7) Use common sense.
     
  78. Yes this is really a shame.
    I was caught up in a scam in the UK when I lived there, selling some items upwards of GBP500. Some people trying to buy goods from me at two or three times the price would send a Euro cheque, which would take 30 days or so to clear (or fail to clear). Of course I didn't go for it, but did co-operate with the police to try and get as much info as possible before they disappeared. As my rating was not very high at that time, I was a prime target.
    Apparently the cheques would not clear and the so called buyer would use all kinds of pressure tactics to get you to transfer the remaining cash (via those untraceable cash handling services).
    Basically I won't spend more than about 25 pounds on Ebay, even my wife is having problems now with a DVD she ordered for our daughter. As this is such a large amount, it may be worth contacting some different police departments to see if there are any ongoing investigations.
     
  79. Follow through on contacting the FBI. While the dollar amount may not be high by whatever standards, they may have a file on him or at least will start one.
     
  80. Joseph,
    I am so sorry to hear that your hard earned savings for what shgould have been a lovely Leica kit have just been stolen from you.
    Clearly you've had many many suggestion of help as well as much discussion about how to avoid this.
    I would like to suggest 2 things - one to help you and the other to allert the Photo.net community.
    1. There is a spot on this site to list vendors' names and post comments on your dealings with them. I suggest you add to the list the name of his company (regardless of what it actually does) and put a copy of all the information you posted here. Like many others if i am deaaling direct or via eBay with any organisation I don't know I first go to this area of Photo.net to look at members' experiences. On 1 occasion it saved me $1000.00 - the dealer engaged in deceptive practices with a bad history about 5 years long.
    2. Although I am an Australian, I recall a wonderful Texan saying: "Don't bring knives to a gun fight!"
    I suggest you go to his place of work ( do some investigating to locate that through his bank account name) and "politely" make a horrible nuisance of yourself where others will hear you - embarass they guy. Of course you don't do anything that could cause you even more trouble. But When I deal with ar..h.l.s, I do similar in a very strong but polite synical voice - "just tell Mr so and so I am here to collect the $3300 he stole from me!! Anyway uyou'll get my point.
    If he has a bank account you may know the branch he banks at - now I have no idea of the relative distances involved, but maybe with enough telephone calls to his bank branch and even a visit using similar words: I am here to get the $3300 he stole from me....
    If nothing else you'll humiliate him and maybe others he knows will hear about his fraudulent ways.
    Anyway, my suggestions simply illustrate the ideas and may not be practical in the circumstances, but illustrate some ways of making him know you are niot taking his theft (and that is what he did - stole yoiur money!) lying down.
    I hope somehow you get your money back.
    PS: I understand it is not worth suing him for $3300. God knows the costs will eat all the money returned (if that even happens). BUT, I suggest you look into the process because maybe for a relatively small amount of money (you may feel that is a worthwhile "pay-bacK") you can get his name listed as a defendant in a suit for theft/fraud. Now that will not look good when anyone does a background check on him later on!
    Good luck.
     
  81. Thanks for all responses here, really. *Bow*
    Sometimes I do think that I will forget this fraud after awhile (excuses like too busy to work, no time to take further action, or not worth to do anymore etc).
    Then, the same guy will cheat people again and again as he knows well he will not get caught. He is such an expert to know how to hide (using proxy server to hide his IP addresses), how to make his fake personal info look authentic, and how to get money and run away. Even his bank a/c's personal info is authentic, so what?
    He knows well, no one cares such fraud, no one. Do you think the police, eBay, or bank will do something to help you for such amount? He is not Mr. Bernard Madoff, you are not Mr. Warren Buffet. Yeah they will make a record after you report to them. Then?
    Should I believe that I can find that scum by my own effort and drag him to jail? I don't think so.
    But I will keep posting here and let you guys know what is happening. I hope you do it too, especially if you were the victim of an internet fraud...
     
  82. I would hire a private investigator to track him down. Probably not too difficult these days. I doubt this person is as sophisticated as you think.
    When you find the individual, take your time to think of what action you might want to take. There are lots of ways to deal with people like this. The Internet is is a good source for ideas. Your PI may even have some suggestions.
    .
     
  83. Hi Robert can you introduce a good PI to me?
    A gentleman suggested me to share my story at another forum, I will do so soon.

    If anyone want to get the info of the seller to help me plz kindly let me know...
     
  84. Joseph,
    I live in Honolulu and don't know any private investigators. I would suggest consulting your family attorney, if you have one. In my case, that would be my wife. Otherwise, do a Google search, "Hiring a Private Investigator". Advice from my wife is to hire someone near the area in which you believe this person lives. Good luck.
     
  85. Thanks Robert.
    The seller claimed that he lives in Miami, and it is the Miami branch of BOA for money transfer. What is so weird is the Bank manager said that his account is from Maryland and can't be find in Miami...
     
  86. Well, call up a few large Private Investigative agencies in your area and ask if you can get a free consultation. Bring all the information you have with you. It's a start.
     
  87. I had a similar situation a few years back. I sent the payment to the seller via a bank check from Hong Kong. It's very tough to get the money back. By that time there was an organization called something like Internet Police, which is a legitimate police organization around the world for fighting internet frauds. I did a search on google tonight but nothing came up. During those days, I have contacted several lawyers and collection agencies in the area where the seller lived in. A couple of lawyers did call up the seller and confirmed the case and contacted the police for me. However, it's also difficult to open a legitimate case on the police side as it's considered a kind of "consumer complaint". The amount involved was small, $1200, so I was told that I can put the seller into a small claim court. The max claimed amount varies in different cities, in Brooklyn, NY it's around $3000. So I sent an email to the seller that I will fly to NY and file a small claim court against him. Since I have an evidence that he got my money, he will definitely lose the case. When he loses the case, all of my travel expenses that are involved will be added to the claimed amount. That said, he will need to give me more money than what I have paid to him. He was scared off and sent me a check of the original amount minus S/H.
    My suggestion is to first contact the local police in the area where the seller lives in (not the police in Hong Kong though as it's a different jurisdication). Then warn the seller about the small claim court. The last resort is to hire a collection agency to track him down. If they can get your money back, they will keep half of it. It is a better-than-nothing solution though.
     
  88. Hi Carlo, thanks for your suggestion, I am planning to do so.
    For my case, I created an facebook account:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001013672499
    and a facebook group: eBay Leica fraud:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=113271708690532
    I sent some messages to the seller's friends and siblings, one of his siblings replied:
    "I think u have the wrong person! he has not sold anything on ebay, this is a fraud using his name!! he dosent have an ebay account for one and 2 i he wouldnt use mrlee73, u have the wrong person my friend"
    Then I tried to reply his message, but I can't do so as he blocked me in facebook.
    If what he said is true and Mr. Kyle S Khadar is just a scapegoat, please inform Mr. Kyle S Khadar that his personal information had been used for internet crime, and please report to Miami police and the bank asap. I can provide any necessary documents.
     
  89. Never use bank transfer with someone whom you don't know (even in Hong Kong). Credit card is 1000x times safer. If anything goes wrong, then it is an ordeal between banks and card companies not you in between.
    If you can't use credit card / paypal, then just don't buy it. If I an item is a piece of Leica equipment, I definitely need to pay through paypal. No doubt.
     
  90. Thanks Carlo. I reported to Miami FBI and Attorney General of Florida. Now I am waiting for their responses.
     

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