Ebay G5 scam

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by St. George, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. St. George macrumors member

    May 7, 2003
    First - sorry to post this here - I can't seem to post on the discussion threads - maybe someone can post a pointer to here if you think it's necessay.

    I'll keep this as short as possible.
    A couple of weeks ago I noticed a g5 duel with a 17" display on ebay.
    The seller required an email to be sent to him to be put on the preffered buyers list.
    He amailed me back and said I could bid or buy direct for £1500 (to good to be true? Yes)

    I got back to him and said yes but that I would use a third party (escrow.com) to handle the purchase.

    He sent back a blanket email saying that he would accept pay pal or ideally western union transfers.

    This got me a little worried... and I found this following note from another seller:

    There are currently a number of scam auctions taking place on eBay whereby eBay accounts have been hacked and used to list high value electronics items which don't actually exist. These auctions are designed to defraud unwary buyers. You should check a sellers feedback and see what kinds of items they have sold recently. If the item price seems to good to be true then this should start the alarm bells ringing.
    Please do your research when purchasing items. You should expect to pay a realistic market price. Offers of items at 50% off the retail price are totally bogus.
    Here are some of the tell tale signs that you are dealing with a fraudulent ebay seller :
    The seller's eBay account may have been dormant for some time (you can check this by looking at their feedback)

    The seller has usually only previously sold low value non-electronics items but suddenly has a quantity of high value electronics items available for sale

    The seller requests you to mail them at an e-mail address given at the top or bottom of the listing description

    The seller is usually located in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy or some other European country even though they may use an eBay account that appears to indicate that they are in the UK

    The seller displays poor or erratic English language skills (e.g. grammar, spelling) in the listing or in any communications (e.g. e-mail)

    The seller will explain the low price he is selling at by claiming that he acquired liquidation stock (or some similar excuse)

    When asked about whether an item can be collected the seller will always make some excuse up as to why this isn't possible

    The seller will always request payment by Western Union money transfer, which is untraceable once you have made the payment

    In my case you will see from my feedback that I have sold many high value items such as iBooks, PowerBooks and iPods over recent months so you can purchase with complete confidence from me. If in doubt use the 'Ask Seller a question' link above to ask me anything you wish. Thank you for your attention."
    All the above fitted. The seller of the low priced kit had a great rating... but on closer inspection this had been manufactured... lots of buying and selling of small, rubbish items.

    I notified ebay and they washed their hands of it saying that the emails (i sent them the source code etc) were private. Yet they allowd the seller to have this 'preffered buyers' button.

    Please be aware that there are G5s up for grabs that seem to follow the above pattern... so please be careful.
  2. iPC macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2003
    East Windsor, CT
    avoid eBay at all costs!

    eBay should not be trusted to help their "customers" with anything whatsoever. Also, please remember that they bought out PayPal.

    If you get scammed on eBay, and you paid with PayPal, there is zero incentive for eBay to do anything to help you. They already "earned" their 2 commissions, and they react like insurance companies in the US do, 'ignore them long enough and the will go away.'

    Honestly, I can not recommend to anyone to buy something they find on eBay anymore.

    (no, I have never been scammed)
  3. Kid Red macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2001
    I disagree. Pay Pay Pal with a CC and charge that **** back if you get scammed. Pay Pal with loose the money so they are motivated to try and find the guilty party. They also pay a charge back fee, something else they'd rather no do.

    Pay with a CC always, and using Pay Pal is pretty damn safe.
  4. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    If it's too good to be true, it probably is a scam. I always skip auctions where the seller says email him to get on the buyer list. BS. I never buy anything more than $100 on ebay if ever, and tend to examine the seller's ratings w/ scrutiny before I place my bid. I rather pay the extra $20 for expensive electronics at retail and legit online stores (amazon.com) then to loose all my money on a ebay scam.

    I'd say skip this auction.
  5. Bunzi2k4 macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2003
    San Diego, California
    yea there were g4 17" powerbooks going on sale there for like 1,700... too good to be true yes? i almost did that, i sent them an e-mail and they wanted me to pay thru western union and stuff, they even gave me a real address, phone number ect. then ebay e-mailed me saying don't buy and then i had what st. george has posted here... so i didn't buy... but man... a 17" pb g4 sure sounds good.... but o well i baught a 12" instead
  6. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    These ebay scams should be deleted as they come in. they are just getting very annoying. but i do agree with credit card. i would never buy anything off ebay if i couldnt buy with credit card. that way we are both safe in the transaction.

  7. St. George thread starter macrumors member

    May 7, 2003
    If ebay can wash their hands of this by saying that 'this is seperate from us - a private deal', I'm sure the CC companys would do the same. Infact, my CC said they couldn't do a lot if I went ahead with the purchase. I've never used paypal, but I imagine cc payments go to them... after that the transaction is out of the CC comp's hands. Paypal just pass money onto another CC - so nobody is accountable.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong - like I say I've never used paypal.
  8. St. George thread starter macrumors member

    May 7, 2003
    I'm not surprised!

    Also, ebay will only pay back a max of £300 ($?) on a bum deal... and I'm not sure under what conditions.

    Like I said - please be careful.

    I bought a set of meat scales last week through ebay - I actually dove to the sellers place, inspected the goods and then paid! Too risky otherwise.

    By the way - type in G5 mac in the search on www.ebay.co.uk and you might see the scam still going on!!! Please be aware that this is my impression in regards to recent experience... I don't want to accuse current, trustworthy sellers.
  9. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    EBay's not *that* bad

    While I don't think I would ever buy a brand new G5 off of EBay, it can be a safe place to do business and get good deals. Just don't be stupid.

    I purchased a guitar amp for around $450, which saved me probably the same amount to buy the same amp new ($900). It all worked out fine. Do your homework, don't buy into deals that are too good to be true, and you'll do fine on eBay.
  10. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2002
    Just like any market...

    Yeah, I noticed these scammers too.... Out of curiousity I searched for G5 one day and found a number of hits. I thought it was odd, but was surpised they had good feedback. I checked out the history and noticed as you mentioned all low dollar stuff (junk) in the last couple weeks. So I guess the scam is get a good rating, and then sell some big ticket stuff claiming it takes 6 months to arrive and make off with the cash.

    Pretty lame...

    Anyway, that being said, Ebay isn't evil. I've been screwed more selling stuff then buying stuff in the 4 years I have used it. People just need to do a bit more research, don't just look for 95%+ feedback but also some history. (like selling for a number of months) The most important thing, if it's too good to be true it probably isn't! I think as a whole I have had better service with the Ebay community, then some online stores and retail stores for that matter.

    Cool, thing about the interenet is when some ***** does something like this people quickly pass the word and alert others.
  11. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    scammers are doing stuff like that all the time. i was looking for a 17" PB a while ago and the guy gave me some story that the proceeds would go to help some orphanage or something...:rolleyes:

    as soon as they offer to sell it outside eBay, you should report them to eBay (using the proper form on eBay.com). it's against eBay policy to deal outside like that, and at least if you report them that account will be returned to it's rightful owner.
  12. surfdog macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2003
    apple g5 auction on ebay fraudulent scam

    After not believing what I read about apple g5 dual for $1200 on ebay I decided to do a little research on the web and see if anyone else was skeptical on these auctions. using the keywords “ebay apple g5 scam” it brought me here.

    Thanks for all posting and this thread. I have been emailing eBay's SafeHarbor Department with the item numbers of the auctions that appear to be fraudulent and have records of all corresponding email and header information just incase.

    The way I look at it if it was an honest sale there is no reason why they couldn’t ship COD FEDEX or UPS.

    Oh well…… still dreaming of the day when I can get my hand on a new g5 and until than I will bid safely.
  13. m4rc macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2003
    I spent a bit of time in the Summer looking into this a little more. To their credit, e-bay have got much better and have slashed the number of rogue auctions. If you contact them with a scam auction, it is usually deleted within a couple of hours, so they do take it seriously.

    I think the problem is they are so big. It is very hard to check every single auction that is posted. The fact that legitimate ID's are being highjacked by these scumbags dosn't help either, as far as e-bay is concerned they are legitimate people with a decent track record.

    As for e-bay refunding you if you get scammed, why would they? Harsh as it may be, if you really think you are going to get a G5 with flat panel for $1500, then you deserve to get scammed. Just look at the sellers history - always sold small low value items. Registered and traded in a country, the suddenly living in Italy or Spain, and will now sell an amazing bargain but only if you meet their strange payment requests!

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