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View Full Version : HELP ME!!! I Was Screwed


Transit
May 12, 2003, 04:31 PM
I am a recent Mac Convert. I bought my first mac (a Powermac G4 933) about a year ago, and I love it. It is so easy to use, so much more fun that a pc and it looks way cooler. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to get myself a powerbook, so that I could take it to work, and use it instead of the PC's that crash every hour on the hour.
So, I began researching on them. I don't make a whole lot of money, and I am just out of university, so I still have that to pay off as well. I was looking for stuff on e-bay, when i came across this guy selling a powerbook for a decent price. In the description, he mentioned that he had more, and that you could e-mail him for a price similar to the price on the auction. I e-mailed him, and he sent me back the specs on the Powerbooks he had available. They turned out to be last years models of the Powerbook G4, and that he had got them in a barter contract from Apple, and that is why he was selling them cheap. After multiple e-mails back and forth, I decided that I would buy one. He e-mailed me an invoice as we had discussed in an earlier e-mail. On the top of the Invoice was a company called ANKA FIREPLACE. (www.ankafireplace.com)
6300 SUNSET BLVD
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA 90028
E-mail: services@ankafireplace.com
Voice mail: (323) 657-5331

I was still a little weary at this point, so i checked out the website. I ended up sending the money via Western Union to a person named
BRINDUSOIU DANUT
6660 SUNSET BLVD SUITE L 184.
HOLLYWOOD,CALIFORNIA, 90028
I was told that I should expect my powerbook in about 8 days. After 8 days had elapsed I e-mailed him to see why I had not recieved it. I got no response from him. I have sent multiple e-mails since then, still yet to get a resopnse from him. I used a hotmail account of mine to e-mail him pretending to be someone else, to se if he would respond to those. Sure enough, he did. He responded to every one of the e-mails I sent him through Hotmail. I have made a report to the police here (Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA) and I was told that it would take about a month to get down to the office in Hollywood. This guy could take off in a month, and be somewhere else, and it has already been to long, since I had to wait for a week to get my "powerbook". So, I am posting this hoping that someone in Hollywood will see this and be willing to help me out.

My e-mail: bseaman@transitstudios.net

noel4r
May 12, 2003, 04:46 PM
what do you want the person to do for you?

Transit
May 12, 2003, 11:17 PM
I am not asking for the person to go and confront anyone, but just for any information about the the business. I want to know what is in the building that the address on the website says.

Also, here is the result of a WHOIS search on Ankafireplace.com

Domain Name.......... ankafireplace.com
Creation Date........ 2003-03-14
Registration Date.... 2003-03-14
Expiry Date.......... 2004-03-14
Organisation Name.... Brindusoiu Danut
Organisation Address. 7561 W Sunset BLVD Suite #104
Organisation Address.
Organisation Address. Los Angeles
Organisation Address. 90046
Organisation Address. CA
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Admin Name........... Brindusoiu Danut
Admin Address........ 7561 W Sunset BLVD Suite #104
Admin Address........
Admin Address........ Los Angeles
Admin Address........ 90046
Admin Address........ CA
Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
Admin Email.......... gemal@hotpop.com
Admin Phone.......... +1.323-657-5331
Admin Fax............

Tech Name............ YahooDomains TechContact
Tech Address......... 701 First Ave.
Tech Address.........
Tech Address......... Sunnyvale
Tech Address......... 94089
Tech Address......... CA
Tech Address......... UNITED STATES
Tech Email........... domain.tech@YAHOO-INC.COM
Tech Phone........... +1.6198813096
Tech Fax............. +1.6198813010
Name Server.......... yns1.yahoo.com
Name Server.......... yns2.yahoo.com

MrMacMan
May 12, 2003, 11:28 PM
Not sure if this will do much if he doesn't run his own server but I tracerouted him and I got:
66.218.79.151 Sunnyvale Us

fred_lj
May 12, 2003, 11:31 PM
Sorry, man. When he requested that the deal be made via Western Union you should have backed out then and there. I lost $1500 through a bad deal like this via Western Union as well; all it takes is giving them that stupid confirmation number and the money's gone. I will never be that stupid again; I haven't even approached eBay for a very long time, especially for computing equipment.

It's better just to buy refurbished from a trusted dealer or Apple themselves, or go into a store where you can get your hands on the machine itself.

pseudobrit
May 13, 2003, 12:02 AM
Western Union is the preferred service for 4 out of 5 con men. When I think WU, I think "ripoff."

I guess file a report with your local police and those in Cali. Not sure if that'll do much, but at least it'll be out there. You're going to have to be a PITA nag to get the cops to do something about it unless they have a special fraud dept.

Lessons:

* NEVER send cash

* NEVER fall in love with the object; be prepared to walk away from the deal at any moment if something smells fishy.

If someone here lives nearby, perhaps you can pay them a small recovery fee for firebombing the place...er, getting your money back ;)

springscansing
May 13, 2003, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Lessons:

* NEVER send cash

* NEVER fall in love with the object; be prepared to walk away from the deal at any moment if something smells fishy.


Definitely, amen.

I was out 300 bucks for a fishy deal via western union, BUT the credit card that I payed for the money order with had fraud protection. One call to the card company and all my money was refunded, even without providing any proof.

Come to think of it, that was amazing.

But yeah, if its less than 30 days (the usual limit), call your card company (provided you used a card to order) and see if they can help you out.

scem0
May 13, 2003, 01:17 AM
I canceled an auction on eBay yesterday. I was afraid of fraud. Fraud is at an all time high (I think), it is really too bad that stuff like this has to happen. I wish you the best of luck, and I know that the MacRumors community has helped put criminals where they belong (wow that sounds corny :)) at least once or twice before. I am very confident that we will be able to do so again. Good luck.

macktheknife
May 13, 2003, 01:34 AM
This can't help you now, but it's worth repeating for any future online buyers: Sending money via Western Union is a virtual invitation to getting ripped off. NEVER send any money through WU--it is untraceable and almost certainly unrecoverable.

hvfsl
May 13, 2003, 04:13 AM
I only use credit cards to buy stuff on ebay, if I can't use a credit card to buy something, I do not bid for it, no matter how good it is. I am sorry for people when they loose money on ebay, but this kind of thing has been happening for years and before ebay.

hvfsl
May 13, 2003, 04:23 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
Not sure if this will do much if he doesn't run his own server but I tracerouted him and I got:
66.218.79.151 Sunnyvale Us

Now we need some hackers/crackers to access his system and try to get your money back. There are software tools on the net that can do this. Once the system is accessed someone needs to install software that detects keystocks so you can find out his bank number. For anyone who does not know what to do you need to:
Get a program to find when he is on the net and find which ports are open.
Then hope he does not get windows security updates (he must be using windows) and install some program on his computer that lets you know what he is doing.

But this kind of thing should only be done if the legal option does not work. Maybe try sueing him for $5000 for lose of money and the pain and effect it has caused. You could then get a 17in G4 Powerbook.

MrMacMan
May 13, 2003, 06:24 AM
Originally posted by hvfsl
Now we need some hackers/crackers to access his system and try to get your money back. There are software tools on the net that can do this. Once the system is accessed someone needs to install software that detects keystocks so you can find out his bank number. For anyone who does not know what to do you need to:
Get a program to find when he is on the net and find which ports are open.
Then hope he does not get windows security updates (he must be using windows) and install some program on his computer that lets you know what he is doing.

But this kind of thing should only be done if the legal option does not work. Maybe try sueing him for $5000 for lose of money and the pain and effect it has caused. You could then get a 17in G4 Powerbook.
well then, no one said hack him too...
:rolleyes:

If that is his real name/address ask the FBI, local police if its in their authority.

JesseJames
May 13, 2003, 06:56 AM
Too bad dude. Hard lesson.

iJon
May 13, 2003, 07:55 AM
yep your screwed, this is what happens when you shop on ebay. if your gonna use ebay at least use a credit card so you dont get screwed over. get a plane ticket, fly down there, and get the cops on it. use switchboard.com to see if you can get an address for his name and town in sunnyville. if you play smart you may get some money back, but let this be a lesson to you, just buy from a reseller or actual store.

iJon

GeneR
May 15, 2003, 12:00 AM
I hope that whatever you do to please be careful.

Personally, I think what happened really sucked. However, I would never advocate using hacker/cracker wares downloaded off the internet to run a search. I think I read somewhere, maybe, FBI Bulletin (you can pick it up at some local libraries). It's a magazine put out by the FBI which talks about concerns in law enforcement. Anyway, they did a little article on identity theft a year or so ago. It's really on the rise. And post-9/11 a lot of the different government agencie's resources are now going to be devoted to tracking script kiddies and hackers/crackers on the internet.

So, while it's cool that we can read each other's IP's, and to plot acts of retribution, I'd still stay away from crossing the line on these things and go directly to the FBI and local law enforcement to find more information how to deal with this situation. It probably won't amount to much (but then again who knows?) but at least you may become educated by them about how to protect yourself in the future.

I've heard that eBay really has been trying to hide the fact that so many incidences like your own happens. I am really sorry to hear that. However, I wish you please take care to safeguard yourself.

Sorry for your loss.

:(

P.S. Isn't PayPal a pretty good way to protect yourself? I wouldn't use Western Union just because I don't like their fees. However, I appreciate the stories. I doubt I'd use them in the future now that I know these horror stories.

melchior
May 16, 2003, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by GeneR
P.S. Isn't PayPal a pretty good way to protect yourself? I wouldn't use Western Union just because I don't like their fees. However, I appreciate the stories. I doubt I'd use them in the future now that I know these horror stories.

PayPal is better than Western Union. Using paypal i still got ripped out of US$500. ****ing pissed off i was! like yoda i speak. but $1500, man, that's tough.

it's worth your piece of mind to use escrow services. really. do it. you'll thank yourself. and think about the money you are saving by buying from ebay. is it really worth the risk?

dornball
May 16, 2003, 11:00 AM
at the same time, beware what escrow services you use.

i got ripped off too, bu an online escrow service.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24079

in all likelyhood, none of the info. that guy gave you is valid.
fake name, address, phone number...etc.
i just saw on cnn the other morning that online auction fraud (they mentioned ebay) is at an all time high. in fact, before just recently, the fbi would look at these cases on a case-by-case basis, and their had to be at least $10,000 stolen to even have them look at it. but there is so much auction fraud noe, that they are looking into it in general.

trust your instinct. it sounds like you thought something was fishy before you made the deal, but the price was so sweet that it blinded you.

this scenario has happened to many people in these forums alone, imagine the actual amount of people that its happening to. and i am one of them.

good luck.
-dornball

Mblazened
May 17, 2003, 02:40 AM
I actually work at an apple service center in hollywood, right off of sunset.
I'll remember the name in case he ever comes in.

wdlove
May 17, 2003, 11:54 AM
I'm sorry to hear about the way that you were treated Transit. Life just isn't fair, it just seems that con artists are everywhere. The only real peace that a person can have is that they will pay a high price one day for their actions!
:(

JesseJames
May 17, 2003, 12:20 PM
Everything I've ever bought from eBay has been through Paypal. I've yet to be screwed over. It's the only way I'll buy anything through that website.
Watch yourself. The internet is a haven for mothereffers. Especially that site.

melchior
May 17, 2003, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by wdlove
The only real peace that a person can have is that they will pay a high price one day for their actions!
:(

real? :D

maybe one day someone will screw them while they are trying to screw someone else.

WorldWithoutLuv
May 19, 2003, 10:31 AM
It absolutley disgust me that people do things like this, and I am sorry you were a victim of it. I do, however, have an idea. From what I understand, you called the police in the city of Los Angeles. However, the reason they may not be responding is that the location in Hollywood is in the county of los angeles, not the city. Since the two are separate municipalities, you may want to contact the county authorities versus the city authorities. If it were me, I would go down to L.A. county, knock on the door, and punch the guy in the nose, but um, that's assault, and it's not exactly smart... so yeah... but best of luck!

wdlove
May 19, 2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by melchior
real? :D

maybe one day someone will screw them while they are trying to screw someone else.

More than not most dishonest individual people don't get punished here on Earth!

GeneR
May 20, 2003, 02:30 AM
Too true. wdlove (at least as well as one may perceive).

Here's an article from the Los Angeles Times that might shed some light on some of the problems ebay's having:

Scam Casts Doubt on EBay Security (http://www.latimes.com/search/lat_all.jsp?Query=ebay.com) Click on the article dated March 24th, of this year. It will require you to register but it's free.

I was thinking about using ebay to buy a new battery for my ibook. Now, I don't know.

:(