Synthi scam?

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Alex Mnemonic
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Synthi scam?

Post by Alex Mnemonic » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:02 pm

I found a Synthi AKS auction with bids lying around $150. I asked the seller a question about shipment, and he replied with this:
Hi,

Yes i can send it as a gift but i sell only at the buy it now.

The buy it now price is US $ 1,500 including shipping and handling.

The deal will be made through an eBay program which will protect both of us. If you are ready for the deal let me know your full name and shipping address and i'll start the deal with eBay.

Regards
(There was no BIN on the auction page, so he just removed it instead. This struck me as a bit odd, but doesn't necessarily mean anything. Does it?)

I get a mail from eBay about the transaction, which seemed to be genuine. The guy seels car wheels and has 30,000 feedbacks, € 5,000 deposited in an eBay managed buyer protection account, and a full name and address.

The main thing that makes me feel a little unsure about this is that he insists on using Western Union, when he accepts PayChap on all his other auctions, and that I've seen some previous Synthi scams on Matrixsynth.

Dear VSE, what to do?
Last edited by Alex Mnemonic on Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by plus321 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:05 pm

Don't do it.

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Post by Alex Mnemonic » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:12 pm

Another odd thing was that his english seemed to deteriorate over time. I guess he got sloppy. Coincidentially, I'm going to London in a couple of weeks, no more than a 30-minute walk from his address. I could check it out, and maybe take my slightly buffer friend with me as security.

Still, any chance of this being legit?
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Post by plus321 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:50 pm

Unless you can physically meet him and pay him as you are taking the machine away, then I would stay clear. Even then, you might get robbed.

If you are actually considering sending someone $1500 via Western Union for something that is seemingly too good to be true, then you should just send me the money. I'll use some of it to fly to where you are, kick you in the teeth, and you will get the same satisfaction as you would from sending that guy money.

Sending Western Union is the same as sending cash. If he is willing to sell it for $1500 outside of ebay, then the only conceivable reason why he doesn't want to use ebay is because of the fees. Offer him the fees (ebay and paypal) and see what his response is.

If something is too good to be true, then it probably is.
I admit that sometimes I take chances, but only when they are around $200 or $300. $1500 is too much to lose.

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Post by cornutt » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:18 pm

Alex Mnemonic wrote:Still, any chance of this being legit?
Zero. All the classic signs of a scam are there:

1) The seller doesn't know about or understand what he is allegedly selling.
2) The seller wants to work the deal outside of Ebay. If you do an outside-of-Ebay deal for something listed on Ebay, then Ebay will disown any responsibility for the transaction, and they may ban you for sidestepping their seller fees.
3) The magic words "Western Union". That was the dead giveaway. Unless you know the seller very intimately, never ever ever pay for anything using Western Union. Ever. :shock: No legit business ever requires payment via WU.

Add: If you actually go to that address in London, you'll probably find that either it doesn't exist, or it's some unrelated entity (like a restraunt or a Tube station).

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Post by Escobar » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:23 pm

Forget the deal. My bet is that you will lose the money.
Selling car wheels? Does anyone trust a car seller? MUUAAAHHHAA!
(Sorry for that burst) :lol:
Save your money and look for another deal.
Btw, shouldn't this thread be in the Buyer's guide forum?
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Post by Alex Mnemonic » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:44 pm

It probably should.

Yeah, I should've seen this coming. Even with eBay overseeing the trade, he could've claimed that he sent the Synthi or something like that, I guess. I could give you all tickets to Norway, let you kick my teeth in, and still have more money left after the hospital stay and the extensive dental reconstruction (such things are free here) than after a deal with this guy.

I could have my buff friend check out his address, of course. I Google Earth'd it, and it's a regular apartment in Southwark. This may sound naïve, but -
eBah said:

After verifying the trustworthiness of the seller and the availability of the merchandise for immediate shipping, we have approved your buy it now transaction and offered you, as the buyer, full purchase protection for the amount you agreed on with the seller.


- seems like a legit deal to me. Would they be difficult to deal with in such an event, should he turn out to be a naughty man? I just thought that maybe they'd pay up since they say they will.
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Post by plus321 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:27 pm

Did you check the header of that email? Is it really from ebay?

It seems incredibly unlikely that they would approve of not getting money.

It is not hard to fake an email, ESPECIALLY if this guy already has your email address. Think, did you give him your email address before you got this message from ebay?
(i.e. did you check the box that says "hide my email address from seller?")

Have your friend go over and check it out, if it is legit, then send your friend the money and have him ship it.

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Post by minime123 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:44 pm

scammers are always trying to sell you synthi aks' and arp 2600s they havent got. theyll get your money and youll get nothing in return. generally, if something seems wrong, it probably is. this was obviously a scam.
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Post by Alex Mnemonic » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

The mail was sent with googlemail from aw-confirm@checkout-ebay.com, and is genuine. As for the rest of the red flags, I'll have my friend check out his place, or suggest a meeting. The last time I asked he declined, saying that shipment was only $30, which also seemed way off.

I will keep you updated.
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Post by minime123 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:45 am

sure, youre welcome to come back and tell us we were right ;)
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Post by plus321 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:07 am

Alex Mnemonic wrote:The mail was sent with googlemail from aw-confirm (at) checkout-ebay.com, and is genuine. As for the rest of the red flags, I'll have my friend check out his place, or suggest a meeting. The last time I asked he declined, saying that shipment was only $30, which also seemed way off.

I will keep you updated.

Ebay doesn't send their messages with gmail (a free email service).

Also there is no such place as checkout-ebay.com. Ebay does not send messages like that.

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Post by cornutt » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:58 am

I've tried several DNS lookups on checkout-ebay.com, and I'm getting nothin'. There is a checkout-ebay.net registered; it's owned by some guy from Pennsylvania and the admin contact is a yahoo.com address. Doesn't appear to have anything to do with Ebay.

Did you look at the "Received-from" headers of the email you received?

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Post by minime123 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:30 am

i dont know why you guys are bothering to investigate this further. its a scam. there you have it. send him money and youll be making him richer and you poorer and, most importantly, still synthi-less. but if you insist on going that far, let us know so we can say told ya so. sorry to rain on your parade...
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Post by hageir » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:35 am

in the meantime, mess with him, make him do some stupid stuff! :lol:
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