Help! I've been scammed. Is it possible to trace a computer via the MAC address??

Discussion in 'macOS' started by theNEOone, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. theNEOone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I "sold" my MBP this weekend to someone who turned out to be a scammer. He paid me $1250 for my MBP, of which $600 (all in one hundred dollar bills) was counterfeit. I'm still in a little bit of shock - the kid seemed legit. Very nice, talkative, etc. I even held up the bills to the light to make sure the watermark was present on the bills - it was. (My bank later told me that it was a really good counterfeit....didn't really make me feel any better.)

    In any case, I have the MAC address of my notebook. Is it possible to trace it??? Am I screwed? I'm not even upset about the missing $600 - I'm more upset that this shaddy guy could potentially get away with this and continue scamming other people, who possibly might be totally devastated if they were scammed out of that kind of money....


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  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Well, you're assuming the guy knew it was counterfeit. It may have been passed to him from someone else unknowingly. The police are pretty much your only bet though, especially with counterfeit money involved, I believe that makes it a federal crime.

    You can also watch local selling sites like Craigslist to see if your machine pops up. If so, notify the police so they can act on it.
     
  3. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Well, I've been trying to contact the "buyer" and he has not responded to any of my calls, text messages, or emails. It's a safe bet that this was an intentional scam.

    The police were useless - I was bounced around to 3 different precincts before the last one told me that the Secret Service is who investigates counterfeit issues.... They're kicking off the investigation, but in the mean time I want to try and do whatever I can. Chances are he's going to float around for a bit before the SS catches up to him, which means he might scam other people....


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  4. bender o macrumors 6502

    bender o

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #4
    You guys should download this, I don't know if you've heard of it, is a chilean based open-source software that runs in the background and when activated if your mac, pc or other has been stolen it starts sending info of where it is, the pages the thief has visited and even pictures if you have a webcam.

    I have it and it uses 0 resources so you shouldn't worry about it hogging up your machine :)

    http://preyproject.com/

    Ps: I just realized the info (I think) goes to your mail, so if you have Mail.app activated try registering with another mail so the thief won't start seeing the info an deactivate the anti-theft software :)
     
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    With just the MAC you won't really be able to do anything. If you know they went to a college or something, then the police could contact the school and they might be able to scan for the MAC, but honestly it would be a bit of a long shot. Checking web sites that sell items is about the best you can do. I had a friend who found equipment from his work being sold online and that information was used to arrest the people involved.

    bender_o, that software won't help here as the system was likely wiped for the sale. Otherwise that would essentially being installing spyware on someone else's machine.
     
  6. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Yup - system was wiped.

    I guess I can monitor craigslist, but I live in NYC. Do you know how many MBPs get listed each day? Not feasible...


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